After a pandemic forced three break break, People Matter Fest (PMF) returned this year with a grand flare with headliners Plies, JT Money, Pleasure P, Ball Greezy and Ice Billion Berg and more at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami.
The festival, which kicked off March 17-18th, drew in more than 5000 people throughout the day who were treated to a free Hip-Hop festival of some of their favorite local artists and a kid zone filled with bounce houses, a Dunkin sponsored Art Zone powered by MUCE, a live wrestling show and stage of curated performances hosted by DJ BO Da Lover and Rock Da Block podcast host Olympik.
The festival also featured a Resource Village filled with free resources for the attendees to get information on community services and programs. People were also able to choose from ten food trucks who served fan favorite meals.
Since its inception, anywhere hip-hop went, activism was never far behind. 103.5 The Beat’s host, Papa Keith, upholds this sentiment through his annual gun-violence awareness hip-hop festival. Produced through his nonprofit Papa Keith 4 People Matter (PK4PM )Foundation, the event this year launched March 17th with a football tournament hosted by NFL Player and homegrown talent Tutu Atwell and basketball tournament hosted by Made in Phlly. Those events took place that’s at Gwen Cherry Park. The Basketball tournament began at 7pm which also mark the start of Keith’s 24-Hour Cease Fire Campaign to help combat gun violence throughout Miami-Dade County.
The county-acclaimed 24-hour ceasefire campaign, rallying Miami-Dade to refrain from gun use for the day ended festival with the close of the PMF at 7pm. Although the Cease Fire was not successful as it has been during past festivals, due to one Spring related shooting on Miami Beach, the rest of Miami-Dade county was gun violence free for the 24 hour period.
“We suffer from a lot of unnecessary gun violence here in South Florida, so we definitely need the 24-hour ceasefire,” said Keith in a statement before the festival. “I don’t know if it’s luck, but the ceasefire is our biggest success story. We go directly into the communities with gun violence issues, and we ask them to respect the ceasefire to ensure a peaceful festival.”
On March 17th the festival hosted a press conference featuring event sponsor Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and honored multiple non-profits who work year round to reduce gun violence.
Event organizers counts this year as a success and plans to come back bigger and better in 2024 with a focus on truly making sure people know they matter. To stay up to date with the People Matter Fest visit PeopleMatterFest.com.
Hy-Lo News, Founder, Janey Tate, has been a lead organizer with the festival since it began in 2017 and Hy-Lo News has been a media partner as well.