As many of you probably know, the Art Directors Club decided to take its hardware, talents, what have you from New York City to South Beach for its 92nd Awards Show. So, in case you missed lingering around the ADC Gallery in Chelsea, we have some first-person perspective from the event in warmer climates courtesy of the organization’s director of content & communications, Brianna Graves, who offers her recap of one particular moment that she dubs “Stageside Craft.” Recap of Day 1 in video form above.
A could-have-been disappointment turned into one of the most special moments of the first day of the inaugural ADC 92nd Annual Awards + Festival of Art and Craft in Advertising and Design. With the day’s workshops wrapped and the drinks in the afternoon poolside Creative Register Cabana consumed, all Festival attendees headed for the Private Pool + Lawn at W South Beach to kick back and absorb the inspiration of Day One at the Opening Night Pool Party presented by Martin Guitar.
An open bar provided unlimited cool drinks to get people loosened up to mingle, and a line grew around the pool for the opportunity to create a signature pasta dish. The lawn was packed with colorful, clearly Miami Beach-ready guests, as the ADC’s executive director Ignacio Oreamuno [ed: he explains the move to Miami here] took the stage to introduce musician Keaton Simons. The crowd fell silent. But something wasn’t right. A venue-imposed noise restriction made it challenging, but not impossible, to hear Oreamuno’s voice across the lawn. But a not-so-gentle ocean breeze blowing off the sands of South Beach and straight into the microphone finished the job, and barely a word or a strum from Simons’ guitar could be heard as he began his set.
An artist so passionate about his craft was not to be stunted by a strong ocean breeze, however. Simons casually unplugged his guitar, set aside his microphone and took the show fully acoustic. He sat down on the edge of the stage and guests crowded closer to sit down around Simons, rows deep, as he picked up his Martin and continued the show. A few songs in, guests stood up to dance to the music, a mini-music festival growing around the stage. Halfway through Simons’ set, nearly every guest around the stage was singing along and by his final song, the crowd begged him to continue and play more.
It was a beautiful moment of authenticity and respect for the art and passion that Simons was sharing. While the rest of the lawn continued to get to know each other and interact with other elements of the party, including a hysterical live, prop-filled (think bathtubs and longhorns) photo booth by living media agency theatreMAMA, those drawn to the music were privy to an intimate moment with one of Los Angeles’ best rising musicians.