Chew-Miami

Chewhiker – Welcome to Miami

During February and March 2016 I traveled North America to meet the Chew community, DJs, partners and investors. Read more about the entire Chewhiker trip here.

With a short stop off in Atlanta airport I flew down the west coast of Florida. The plane turned inland and crossed the state. The ground looked like a giant swamp from above. As the plane cut a large ark out to sea to come into land I got a great view of the entire city laid out below me. If I thought Austin was hot Miami beat it by another ten degrees. The humid air soaked my shirt through from the walk to the taxi. The airport was loud and full of colleague students leaving from a week of dancing to EDM. I told the taxi driver to head to the beach and sat back to watch Miami unfold.

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I was in town for two reasons. Ashley, Mike and Mark had already been in Miami for a week. They had been filming Miami Music Week and Ultra Music festival for Chew. Their hotel floor was to be my bed for the rest of my time on the trip. I walked right through the empty hotel lobby. The building had three identical floors. The lift had a rusty door and groaned and screeched as it approached so I headed for the stairs. Knocking on the door Mark opened the room. The large room featured a full kitchen and dining table. Video equipment covered every horizontal space. SD cards, cameras and cables littered the floor. 

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Ashley and the team were red from their week in the sun. Over dinner they told all. Parties on rooftops and by pools. Filming on the back of jetskis and the hell of hotel internet connections. Throughout the week the team had filmed some top DJs and streamed live with some of the biggest shows from the event. 

 

Winter Music Conference was a little underwhelming coming from the madness of South by South West. I waited fifteen minutes to pick up my badge. In the small room the stalls competed in volume. Each demonstration or DJ trying to drown out the other. I sat in on a couple of panels targeted at the beginner DJ and producer before heading out for the meetings I’d come for.

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After just two days in town the most enjoyable part had been the beach. No Chew DJs had come forward from the area or from the state. It seemed to be a party town just for visitors. With three days before my flight was leaving it felt a sad note for the trip to end on.

That was when a message from Cody in Atlanta popped up. While I was on lay over in Atlanta I’d send out a off hand post that I was passing through. Cody was a DJ leading the Atlanta crew on Chew. In a few minutes a plan was forming. The next day I said fair well to the Chew video team and left for Atlanta. A city which many people pass through without thinking of stopping. Meeting the team and the meetings I had in Miami had been worth while. I needed to see the trip out as it had begun. With the support of the Chew community.

ben

Ben Bowler is the Co-Founder of Chew, the live streaming community that connects a new generation of DJs, producers and personalities. Having built his career in music and media companies AEI Media and Vice, he noticed young fans today are no longer passive consumers but content creators as well. Launching Chew in January 2015 the community has exploded internationally in the first year and Ben has received press and industry notice, being awarded the IMS Visionaries award last year. Ben continues to build and expand Chew internationally throughout 2016.