Forget everything you associate with a large-scale commercial music festival. Then envision an iconic beachfront setting, mix in artists from all over the globe, and add intimate workshops led by the headlining artists, and you have GroundUP Music Festival — a festival of “musicians’ musicians” where you can hang with your favorite bands. 

Now in its fourth year and taking place Valentine’s Day weekend (February 14-16) at the historic North Beach Bandshell and adjacent Palm Grove Park, GroundUP Music Festival was created by three-time GRAMMY Award-winning music collective Snarky Puppy, who invite passionate music fans for three days of intimate oceanside performances by an eclectic line-up of international artists. 

Joining Snarky Puppy is iconic singer-songwriter/keyboardist Michael McDonald from The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan performing with Chris Potter, Michael League and Jamison Ross for a special acoustic set, progressive future funk collective Lettuce, saxophone virtuoso Chris Potter as artist-at-large, GRAMMY Award-winning Mexican folk-fusion singer Lila Downs, powerful jazz trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, jazz drummer and songwriter Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, and more. 

GroundUP sets itself apart from the seemingly endless roster of Miami music events by creating a distinctly laid-back and accessible feel, and fostering a rare connection that eliminates the separation between artists and audience. You won’t have to wander far from your hammock to hear your favorite artists — GroundUP will feature only two stages, with a maximum capacity of under 2,000 festival goers each day, and it takes just two minutes to traverse the festival grounds. Not only are you likely to spot familiar musicians in the crowd, but fans will have the opportunity to interact and learn from their favorite artists with a series of workshops including songwriting classes, guitar clinics, and percussion circles. 

As a music collective, Snarky Puppy has as many as 25 members in regular rotation. At its core, the band represents the convergence of both black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. 

“My vision for the festival is for people to maybe not recognize many artists on the bill but end up with a list of new artists they’ve discovered,” says Snarky Puppy’s bandleader Michael League. “That’s the dream for me — to have people come and experience everything blind, in a very pure and open-minded way.” 

League is also the founder of the GroundUP music label, which seeks to unite artists and fans from around the world to celebrate diversity in genre, style and geography. The GroundUP Festival will feature global artists from Colombia, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, and Greece, making it a true exploration of world music.

If you want to experience this unique festival for yourself, enter to win a pair of GA weekend passes below. And for tickets and information, click here