A Musical Picnic in Miami Beach- Wallcast . First timer…
The New World Symphony Wallcast, is a free event where they project concerts onto an exterior wall of 7,000 sqft. The Wallcast concerts in their majority are live broadcast, but they do offer repeats “encore” of previous presentations in between seasons. This wonderful affair is brought to the city of Miami Beach by Citi.
New World Symphony Video
The event is viewed on the SoundScape Park, an open green plaza with a lawn section surrounded by state of the art speakers. The outdoor venue is part of a wonderfully well integrated project called the New World Center. It was created by the world renowned Canadian architect Frank Gehry and completed in 2011.
When to go
The center offers an extensive calendar of events available to view on their website.
On a previous visit to Miami beach I took 17th street to the beach and passed by the park a day they had a showing (Sheer luck). I was intrigued, an outdoor concert how had I not heard of this from someone else. My next step was obvious -Google-, of course I am from the digital generation that needs information now!. I looked it up on the spot. I hadn’t reached my destination when I had easily found their calendar and planed my next Miami outing. Their website was easy to navigate and contained all the relevant information. Minus one huge oversight, can you or can’t you drink at the park... Don’t worry, you are allowed to drink in the park. When in doubt always over prepare :)
Saturday was the day of the concert and I was in the area an 1 hour before the show started. I made my way to the New World Center to scout a spot for the event and no surprise, the lawn was already packed. People were out enjoying the great weather while waiting for the show, but so many had arrived early that only a few patches were left for late comers like me. Moral of the story, do the same as they did and arrive a minimum of 2 hours before. I sat near the north perimeter just under 5 meters away from the speakers and I was still able to enjoy its great audio and visual. I can’t imagine what it must be to sit in the center of all the speakers and get the best use of the audio and visual technology installed.
Wallcast last Show of the Season
The concert was just amazing lasting just under 2 hours, it sounded great to me, not that I am a sound engineer but I enjoyed it with no complains or even minor critics. They also integrated video clips of the musicians back stories, and of the musical pieces we were about to listen to. This added a level of enjoyment to the experience, as they were educating us prior to playing. I was lucky to have attended their last live show before their summer break until October. In between songs they announced that the wind section would make their way to the lawn at the end.I found this to be so refreshing, it made you feel part of the event. They closed the season with Beethoven’s Eroica, it was amazing if you are still doubting it. I can’t wait to go back for another concert…
Example of the musical pieces history
What I brought
I brought with me; a beach towel, a cooler, some cups and a small breakfast bed tray table. (It doesn't matter how well you place the wine glasses on the grass, they still will want to fall due to the uneven terrain-you need a table!) Other people had also brought camping chairs, big tables and an embarrassingly large selection of food and wine. Next time Ill look like a veteran ;) aka a local who knows how to do things right… some people would call it competitive, I would say I am just willing to learn, but I am a quick study :) …… potatoe potato.
Tip: if you register prior with Citi you can reserve their chairs that are already on the lawn.
Aside from attending a concert, or a private function in the New World Center you can also for 5$, take advantage of a guided tour. To go you just have to make a reservation. (information on their site). Personally, I haven't been to the building, but after taken the audio tour at the Walt Disney Opera House (also designed by Frank Gehry), I can’t wait.
About my logistics...
Parking...I parked in a public garage at 595 17th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139. A 2 min walk to the park. I was there from 6pm till 10pm and paid 8$. Also on the New World Symphony website, they mention another garage under their “plan a visit" page. It’s nice to have options.
Restrooms… no need to locate one on Lincoln Road, they have permanent public restrooms and rented restroom trailers just off to the south side of the park. The New World Center restrooms open to Concert Club members (link below to subscribe for free) after intermission ends until 10 mins before the end of the performance.
Arrive a minimum of 2 hours before
Bring comfortable seats
Bring a picnic blanket
Bring food and drinks (there is Publix and a Fresh Market just 4 min away by car)
400 17th ST, Miami Beach, FL 33139
IG - Miami Staycation