Art Basel Satellite Fair Scope Partners with VH1 to Bring Live Music to Midtown

A prime example of music and art "cross-pollination" from Scope 2011.
A prime example of music and art "cross-pollination" from Scope 2011.
Ian Witlen

During the first week of December each year, Scope art fair ranks among the most prestigious of the Art Basel satellite events. And this year, thanks to a new partnership with cable TV station VH1, it'll also be the most musical.

When the giant tent that houses Scope goes up in Midtown, it'll be accompanied by the VH1 Outdoor Lounge, where a selection of up-and-coming musical acts featured by the channel's "You Oughta Know" initiative will add music to the lengthy list of visual mediums on display.

We know, we know -- we were surprised to hear that VH1 still shows music-related programming, too. But "You Oughta Know" has been around since 2004; the channel credits the program with helping to "break" talents including Gotye, Foster the People, and Amy Winehouse. Since VH1's more recognized for its reality TV shows than its music videos, we're not convinced it played a huge role in boosting any of those acts to stardom. But hey, free music!


The Scope/VH1 collaboration will be most evident at the fair's official opening party on Thursday, Dec. 6, when the VH1 lounge will host "musical talent from VH1's impressive roster." No performers' names have yet been confirmed.

Upcoming Events

But the VH1 lounge will be open to all Scope attendees during the fair's entire run from December 5 to 9, showing off visual arts co-curated by the channel and Scope organizers. We're guessing the work inside the lounge will have a musical theme, because VH1's senior vice president of branding gave us a lengthy, public relations-y quote about music and art "cross-pollinating," and the excitement of working with "the visionaries at SCOPE."

We're just hoping they throw a taste of VH1's other commercial commodity, reality television, into the mix. A Basketball Wives brawl would be just the thing to temper the high concentration of art snobbery at Basel-time events.

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