For anyone who hasn’t ventured into Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood lately, you’re missing out. Restaurants and bars are popping up, New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery is on the way, and at the center of it all is Miami’s premier spot for all things music: Sweat Records.
April 18th would be a good day to make the trip. That’s because Sweatstock, Miami’s largest music festival/block party will be going down all day long (and when we say ‘all day,’ we mean ‘all day,’ starting at 8am and running until 2am).
Sweatstock brings together live music fans, vinyl aficionados, foodies and everyone in between. It’s all made possible with the support of sponsors like Miami-Dade County, Apollo Bank and The Fillmore Miami Beach.
The weeks leading up to Sweatstock can be crazy, but we flagged down Sweat Records founder Lauren “Lolo” Reskin for a preview of what to expect at this year’s event and her take on how Little Haiti has changed since the store opened ten years ago.
SB: Sweat Records is celebrating its 10th year. Where did the idea for Sweatstock come from?
Lolo: Probably from watching Wayne’s World 2 too many times… Really though, I grew up here and felt culturally stifled as a teen. It was important to us to produce an event that was fun, had legitimately great music, and welcomed everyone. We have worked hard over the years to keep Sweatstock free so that it really is open to all.
SB: What can Sweatstock festival-goers expect and what are you looking forward to most this year?
Lolo: You can expect to run into old friends and make new ones, discover your new favorite artists, enjoy some tasty food and drinks, and hopefully go home with some great records to add to your collection. Personally I am extra excited for TOBACCO’s live set – we brought his other band Black Moth Super Rainbow to Miami in 2012 and it was an incredibly fun show with great energy from the crowd.
SB: Tell us about your marketing strategy – how are you getting the word out that Sweatstock is happening?
Lolo: Thankfully people are so excited about Sweatstock that the word gets around via word-of-mouth. We also push it via all of our channels, work with tons of local media outlets, have a street team passing out fliers, and every year I go on WLRN’s South Florida Arts Beat with Ed Bell to talk about the festival and Record Store Day.
SB: You’re an entrepreneurial pioneer in Little Haiti. How is the area changing and what are some of your favorite spots?
Lolo: So far most of the changes have been for the better – the streets and storefronts have been fixed up, there’s more going on, and lots of new businesses coming in. We love the Rhythm Foundation’s “Big Night In Little Haiti” series at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Fiorito is a great Argentine restaurant a block north of us, and we’re excited to see what else pops up over the next couple years.
SB: What’s next for Sweat Records and the Miami music scene?
Lolo: We just debuted version 3.0 of our main website, and this summer we’ll be launching LiveAtSweat.com to highlight performances from our in-store events, as well as other cool and interesting South Florida-made videos and visuals. Beyond that we’re always working to make Sweat Records the best store it can be.
SB: And the most important question of the bunch: what’s on your turntable right now?