Something New in Miami: Rapture Electronic Music Festival

The weeklong dance music marathon that is Miami Music Week kicks off again this Spring and, for the second year in a row, attendees will be treated to something a bit different – Rapture Electronic Music Festival, a one-day event that takes place on March 22nd at the historic Virginia Key Beach Park, located just a few minutes from downtown Miami.


What began as an idea to offer an alternative MMW experience outside of the city, so that festivalgoers could escape the rowdy pool parties and enjoy Miami’s more peaceful, natural surroundings turned out to be extremely successful, and it looks as though many discerning music fans will be returning this year.

The vibe

Rapture certainly came as a breath of fresh air after Miami Music Week had started to become associated with expensive club nights, bro culture and predictable EDM line-ups. More reminiscent of Burning Man than its neighbouring festival, Ultra, Rapture’s focus is on quality music, wellness and radical self-expression. Last year, it promised to be “Miami’s New Niche Festival”, a promise which it upheld, appealing to those looking for human connection and a place to remove the mask, to let go and fully express themselves, be it through clothing, make-up, face paint or dance.


Rapture claims to be “accepting of those from all walks of life” and only asks that “you come with a sound mind, heart and soul” (not a wallet full of cash). This laid-back, come-as-you-are attitude makes for an equally laid-back crowd; everyone seems to be very loving and accepting of one another, and there is zero judgement. In fact, the kindness of strangers is perhaps the most special thing about the festival.

Music and activities

At Rapture, you’ll have the chance to enjoy an array of activities, such as yoga and sound healing, various performances, art installations, healthy food and drinks and, of course, the beach. There is even a floating lounge in the ocean and other spaces to relax with sound healing, massage and body painting. 


Then, of course, there’s the music. Rapture boasts multi-stages powered by L-Acoustics, each with a different theme, graced by some of the world’s finest House and Techno DJs. The 2018 line-up is yet to be announced, but if it’s anything like last year, with the likes of Art Department, Carl Craig, Steve Lawler, Ellen Allien, Hernan Cattaneo and tINI performing at the festival, then you won’t be disappointed. Back then, the festival’s founders, Youssef Khamis and Misha Warum, stated: “We feel that taking a lineup of this scale and presenting it in an alternative environment was an opportunity to showcase Miami’s geography to people outside the city.”

Could Rapture be starting to change the face of Miami Music Week? It looks like other event organisers are opting to spend their money on high-class, well respected acts like the ones mentioned above, as opposed to these billion-dollar, beefed up DJs with their extensive rider requests, as a result of EDM’s decline. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a revolution…

Rapture Festival 2017


Does Rapture sound like your cup of tea? Grab your early bird ticket now for just $40 from Resident Advisor and stay tuned for the announcement of the first wave of artists.

Written by: Milly Day
Photos by: Valters Boze

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