DJ Irie Turns It Back To Basics For Irie Weekend XV And Talks Opening New Music Academy In Miami

While he’s certainly a turntable maestro and an authority on electrifying any party, the Irie Music brainchild is no ordinary DJ. In 2005, the highly sought-after entrepreneur, global brand, philanthropist and entertainer started Irie Weekend, which is now in its 15th year. The star-studded event is famously known as one of Miami’s most anticipated weekends of the year, often drawing in crowds by the hundreds who come to support South Florida’s at-risk youth.

Photo Credit: Dave Tada

“I have always wanted to help foundations like Make-a-Wish, so one day I decided to create Irie Weekend to help raise money. With the help of celebrity friends and brand partnerships, I believe we created something that has made a difference and will continue to be a great event in the future to come,” said DJ Irie.

Calling Miami home, DJ Irie started the Irie Foundation in 2011 after a visit to Miami Edison High School. He spoke to the kids at the high school and was shocked to find that most of the kids didn’t have access to experiences every kid should have.

“One freshman asked me where I live and then he told me he had never been to the beach, which I thought was crazy. This Freshman in high school had never been to the beach, and the school was around 15 minutes from one,” said DJ Irie.

Photo Credit: Dave Tada

After learning about the disadvantage, DJ Irie started the Irie Foundation to provide these experiences, which in turn helps kids get on the right track and strive for successful futures. Over the years, the foundation has provided musical instruments, scholarships and even trips to Disney Land for kids. However, DJ Irie is taking his philanthropic efforts to another level with the Irie Rhythms Academy—a state-of-the-art music and learning center—in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami.

“The Academy will provide music, arts and literacy programs for the kids at no cost. They will be able to take dance lessons, learn about audio, visual and music productions as well as provides a safe space to improve academic performance,” said Irie.

Irie Rhythms Academy will be located on the fourth floor of the new Carnival Center for Excellence building and is set to be the star of the building, which also houses a brand new computer lab, modern young adult library, space for homework and tutoring and a fitness room—all of which was donated by the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund. According to Irie, this is the first of many Academies that the foundation is planning to open nationwide and eventually, globally. As the foundations’ highest-grossing event of the year, all the proceeds from Irie Weekend will go toward reaching this goal.

This year Irie Weekend is kicking off with the Give From The Heart #InspIrie Gala at Faena Forum on Thursday, Oct. 10. “This event sets the tone for the weekend,” said DJ Irie, who added, “it’s an evening to give back to the future of the community while enjoying food, cocktails, and performances from special guests—I will keep it a surprise though.”

Starting at 11:30 am the next morning, the Celebrity Golf Tournament will be back where it started 15 years ago at the Miami Beach Golf Club. Teams will hit the links with a celebrity “captain” at the helm, visiting each of the 18 holes, which will have a surprise of their own.

Photo Credit: Dave Tada

“I’m excited about this one because we’re going back to where it all started, which is sort of the theme for this year’s events. We have done some great things in the past, including a whole day with Kevin Hart and other programs, but this year we wanted to spread it out so people can really enjoy themselves. The golf tournament is basically going to be a party on a golf course, with DJ’s and bars—Adidas is our partner, so there’s going to be some fun giveaways as well,” said Irie.

Friday night DJ Irie will be hosting Aftr-Drk at Miami nightlife destination, LIV. It’s set to be a night to remember with a live performance by Jaden Smith and sets by Crespo. The next day at Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel guests will make a splash at E11EVEN Beach Bash. “This is going to be an awesome pool party with a live performance by a special guest, as well as a lineup of top DJ’s and tons of giveaways from Adidas, Tidal New York, Jim Beam Apple and others. Basically, everyone is going to be swagged down,” said DJ Irie.

After a day of lounging by the pool, partygoers will head to E11EVEN for an AFTR-DRK toast to the weekend and official closing celebration that will have everyone dancing to a musical line-up through the night into the early morning light.

“On Sunday, we’ll be hosting Brunch Fore The Kids at Top Golf, where we will teach kids how to drive a golf ball. There will also be motivational speakers and a great brunch for everyone. This is a great opportunity to get the kids involved and have a fun day out. This is the first time we’re doing this weekend during fall, so my hope is that people are in town and will come down for a fun weekend with a great cause,” said DJ Irie.