Let’s fast forward straight to the main event shall we; local legend Gloria Estefan taking the stage while dancing along to the opening bars of “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”.
And the Rhythm certainly captured the crowd at this point.
Yes, the thousands of people that had flocked to Miami Beach to enjoy the centennial celebrations were certainly smiling throughout the day, but it was at this point things really started to come alive.
Estefan expertly built the tempo, getting everyone on their feet as one of her most famous songs reached its crecendo. Her enthusiasm was clearly infectious.
Later on during the set, her daughter Emily joined the stage to a medley duet of KC and the Sunshine Band songs. This followed by Emily on stage alone to perform niñita as a solo.
This was met with a massive applause, before Gloria returned to the stage alongside local movie star and heart throb, Andy Garcia.
He said some moving words about the beautiful Miami, before sitting in front of some bongo drums to bring in Gloria’s next song.
Then Gloria got the crowd roaring with the introduction of a something everyone was waiting for. The Conga!
“Miami Beach isn’t the only one getting older. We are all gracefully aging – you remember this one, it’s 30 years old!
With the crowd singing along, conga lines suddenly appeared, winding and jumping along Miami beach. It was an amazing moment for the night.
Saturday Night Fever
A hard act to follow, but what better person to do it than Barry Gibb, the last of the Bee Gees to be with us.
The legend actually had the longest set of the evening, performing a huge array of disco magic from the band’ heyday.
As a poignant nod to the family, Gibb had his niece join him on stage for many of the Saturday Night Fever classics. Needless to say, the crowd was in raptures signing and dancing along to the beats.
Wyclef Jean took to the stage after the Barry Gibb set, performing a number of covers including, Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and “Redemption Song.”
Fantine, joined him to sing Lauryn Hill’s part for “Killin’ Me Softly”, and no set by him would have been complete without “Ready or Not.” which he used to sing out his energetic performance.
An amazing night had by all
There were countless acts performing over the day’s festivities, Flo Rida, Dave Mason and Jon Secada being some of the standouts that took the stage.
Third World, Mariana Vega and Ky-Mani Marley all had a big part to play in the proceedings. Many people expressed how much they enjoyed the sets by Cabas, Nicole Henry and Marlow Rosado.
And let’s not forget the fact that this was just the ending of the celebrations. There was 90 odd hours of festivities before the first bar of the Hard Rock Rising Miami Beach Global Music Festival 2015 begun.
No where other than Miami could party with so much style.