Historic North Beach Bandshell to upgrade its Miami Beach venue to a state-of-the-art virtual performance space

The North Beach Bandshell will be able to reach audiences in-person and around the world thanks to a $1.5M investment from Knight Foundation, ushering in a new chapter of art and technology. 

(November 12, 2021) – The North Beach Bandshell, a historic outdoor venue for live music and the arts in Miami Beach, will use leading technology to enhance its programming and create immersive experiences for local and global audiences. The upgrade is made possible through a $1.5 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in the Rhythm Foundation, which manages the Bandshell. This announcement coincides with the venue’s 60th anniversary and recent designation as a historic landmark by the City of Miami Beach. 

The Rhythm Foundation will use Knight’s investment to install advanced equipment and software that allows performers to create cutting-edge content, livestream productions and record performances to reach local, national and international audiences. These upgrades will establish the North Beach Bandshell as Miami’s virtual performance space, enhancing existing programming and allowing for new multimedia experiences. 

Knight’s latest commitment to the North Beach Bandshell reflects it’s strategic focus of enabling great art to attach people to place and to each other. The pandemic has allowed arts and arts organizations to reimagine technology to reach and connect with new audiences.

“This investment from the Knight Foundation builds on our work during the pandemic to expand our multimedia capabilities,” said James Quinlan, director of the Rhythm Foundation. “We’ll now be able to flip the switch and ensure the Bandshell is a full-fledged virtual venue, able to reach and connect international audiences with our rich cultural content.”

​​“In today’s world, audiences expect viewing options. The Rhythm Foundation understands that integrating technology into the creation, presentation and experience of art is a great way to attract, expand and maintain audiences both on-site and virtually,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s vice president for the Arts. “Knight’s investment helps ensure that the Rhythm Foundation and the Bandshell will continue to play a critical role in the evolution of Miami’s rich art scene.” 

Built in 1961, the North Beach Bandshell was designed by prominent Miami Beach architect Norman Giller, considered one of the creators of MiMo or Miami Modern architecture. It’s located in the Historic North Beach section of Miami Beach of Miami-Dade County, a neighborhood that was designated a National Register of Historic Places in 2009. The Bandshell serves as a community gathering spot for South Florida, hosting cultural celebrations such as Seaside Summer, North Beach Social and the Axis of Love Concert Series. It also hosts live performances by local, national and international artists and annual events such as Ground Up Music Festival, Global Cuba Fest and Afro Roots Festival. 

“The Rhythm Foundation programs at the Bandshell are the centerpiece of our future cultural campus in North Beach,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “The North Beach Bandshell has become the perfect example of how a historic facility can continue to form our identity as a cultural community while staying current with the evolving trends of technology and the arts.”

Rhythm Foundation announced Knight’s $1.5 million investment during the Bandshell’s 60th anniversary event on Nov. 11. The audience enjoyed examples of the new technologies during an immersive performance displayed through original artwork, projection mapping, reactive video capture and live digital media interaction.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media. 

About Rhythm Foundation

We create shared cultural experiences that build and strengthen the diverse communities of South Florida through the presentation of live music. We believe international cultural exchange injects empathy and positivity into the global conversation; cultural activity develops community and builds neighborhoods; and Miami is a global city and our artists are world-class

Image (top) of the North Beach Bandshell by World Red Eye.