Every year, we Nomsters strive to attend to the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. Although we missed it last year we did make it the year before that, and the year before that. This year we bought our tickets way in advance to plan ahead for this great rum tasting event.
Located at the Miami Airport Convention Center in the heart of Miami, we want to begin by saying the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival failed us. We should have known something was wrong when the only parking available was curbside. We had to pay $5 for an accountable parking “space” in what should be the worst parking lot for a convention center. The next red flag was the long wait to get into the festival just a little after opening at 4 pm. We knew ahead of time we bought general admission tickets and there’s a chance many people would be here. But it was all too clear, such like our shitty and scathing review for the Samual Adams Oktoberfest, the tickets were oversold. When are event planners going to learn this lesson… perhaps never.
We waited in line more than 30 minutes in what was clearly a line wrapped around itself twice over. It was way past 4:30 pm when people running the event decided to let everyone in at the same time. Regardless of where you stood in line. You can imagine the rush to the front door with angry, disappointed, eager, rum-rabid Miamians. Bro!
The festival planned one thing right. They weren’t kidding when they said the festival would feature rum experts, professionals, and enthusiasts from more than 30 countries. The place was packed with amazing, rare, new and knowledgeable vendors. Walking around the place was easy enough with wide spacious aisles. But the last minute rush of the crowd forced us to work from back to front to avoid the crowds.
Quick standouts for the night were…
- Zafra Master Reserve 21 Years
- Dos Maderas
- Koloa Dark
- Pink Pigeon
- Penny Blue
- Ron Abuelo.
We would list many other rums. But the weirdest, oddest, and most surprising thing happened. The festival began shutting down an entire hour ahead of scheduled. What the hell?! We just got in at about 4:45 pm due to the lines out front!
The stated running hours of General Admission was 4 pm- 7 pm. It was printed on our tickets and it was posted on the website Miami Rum Renaissance. Which now super conveniently shows next year’s hours of operation as 1pm-6pm. The shutting down early led to so much confusion/annoyance on the floor with both the hired help and the drinkers. It became a free for all. Disenfranchised rum drinkers were scouring the show floor trying to find an open booth like crazed heroine addicts looking for their next fix. And the help was left powerless. They had orders to cap their bottles of rum and close shop from the event heads. Those poor people were scorched by the heat of unhappy ticketed customers.
This was a major blow to our confidence in the Rum Renaissance group. We did some investigation to get to the real reason why the doors were being closed. And all we came up with were two sets of finger pointing. The Rum Renaissance group were blaming the police and the police were blaming the Rum Renaissance group for ordering the closure.
Although we no longer have the tickets to show the printed hours of operations, we know for sure we weren’t the only ones who noticed. Check out these reviews – Yelp Reviews of the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.
We would like to think we’d go back to next year’s Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. But at this moment, we just don’t know. The rums and vendors we interacted with in our wee hour were deliciously interesting, but severe poor planning left a bad taste in our mouth.