Calle Ocho Music Festival

Calle Ocho Music Festival

Mar 12, 2023
Starting: 11:00 AM


For an energizing afternoon immersed in Greater Miami & Miami Beach’s Latin soul, nothing tops the Calle Ocho Music Festival. The annual street party is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the U.S. – and for more than 40 years, it has been a landmark event for residents and visitors alike. But it’s far more than a day of concerts: Calle Ocho is part of Carnaval Miami, a huge celebration of food, art, dancing and Latin culture.

After a year as a virtual festival, Calle Ocho will be back on the streets of Little Havana on Sunday, March 12, 2023, taking over 15 city blocks. Live music stages will fill Southwest 8th Street (Calle Ocho) – Little Havana’s main street – as visitors and locals alike arrive for the daylong party. The festival is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, an organization that has worked to help underprivileged children in the area since 1975.

Editor’s Note: Please check with event organizers to confirm that events are happening as planned.

Who Is Performing at the Calle Ocho Music Festival?

At this time, the festival hasn’t released its roster of performers for 2023. But it will include genres representing a broad spectrum of Spanish-language music, from reggaeton to salsa to méringue and hip-hop.

Previous performers have included Pitbull, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente Jr., Gloria Estefan and others. Check back with Calle Ocho’s official site as the lineup is updated.

Tips for Enjoying the Calle Ocho Music Festival

Calle Ocho is a party, first and foremost. And although it’s largely family-friendly, it’s still an energetic and sometimes-wild time, so go in with an open mind. Even if the weather is on the cool side, the street gets hot, so dress in airy, comfortable clothes. Be sure to drink plenty of water (bring some with you). And be respectful of everyone around you. Since the event is free, it can get crowded, and a little courtesy goes a long way.

There’s plenty to eat and drink at Calle Ocho. If you want to try it all, order small items from different stalls so you don’t get too full.

As for catching all the music – it’s important to note that several acts perform simultaneously and getting from stage to stage can take some time due to crowds. So, plan which performers you most want to see and prioritize.

How to Get to Calle Ocho Music Festival

The festival spans a long stretch of Calle Ocho, running from near Brickell west through Little Havana. Driving can be challenging, especially later in the day, as the street is closed off and traffic clogs the parallel streets. If you decide to brave the gridlock, street parking can be found in Little Havana, both curbside and on the lawns of enterprising locals – for a fee, of course.

If you’re taking a rideshare, have the driver drop you off a few blocks away and walk to Southwest 8th Street to avoid the worst of the traffic. You can also take the Metromover to the Brickell City Centre (Eighth Street) station and walk about 15 minutes to the festival.

Admission to Calle Ocho Music Festival Is Free

Calle Ocho Music Festival is a free street festival, making it accessible for everyone.

In previous years, VIP Passes have been available, allowing access to lounges, backstage parties and more. Check the event’s official website closer to the event date to see if VIP Passes will be available in 2023.

Other Events Associated with the Calle Ocho Music Festival

While Calle Ocho is the main draw, Carnaval Miami is a multi-week celebration with several other exciting events.

Miss Carnaval Miami will be crowned on February 11 at the Manuel Artime Theater. The winner receives scholarships, competes at Miss Florida USA, and serves as an ambassador and icon for the festival all year. Tickets will be available online.

Carnaval on the Mile takes over Miracle Mile in Coral Gables March 4-5. This calmer, toned-down carnival is a showcase of local artists and crafters, with live music and plenty of food.

Little Havana’s landmark Domino Park will host a weeklong domino tournament from March 6-8.

The 41st Annual Golf Classic starts with a scramble at noon on March 10. The fun goes down at Melreese Golf Course near Miami International Airport.

Though it’s a month after the festival, the Kiwanis Club also sponsors the Carnaval Miami Soccer 5v5 Challenge, where youths from 8 to 19 compete in a daylong tournament on April 8 at Amelia Earhart Park. The event is free.

By: Matthew Meltzer | January 26, 2022


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