For better or worse, this weekend belongs to Ultra. For many, having the top DJs in the world play in town for the next three days is a dream come true. For everyone else, it's just a weekend-long traffic nightmare. Either way, if you're searching for music in Miami this weekend, you won't have to look far to find it, and it's not exclusively behind the DJ booth.
The Pretenders will finally bring their rescheduled show to the Fillmore Sunday night after canceling last year due to illness. Fred Schneider of the B-52's will play a DJ set for fans at Technique Records Saturday afternoon. And the drag queens of Flaming Classics will put their own spin on a '90s icon with a screening of Selena.
Have your fun this weekend, but make some time to support the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting at Saturday's various local March for Our Lives demonstrations. Here's a look at the best things to do in Miami this weekend.
As if Ultra Music Festival weren't big enough already, this year the spectacle turns 20. Headlining the fest are Armin van Buuren, the Chainsmokers, David Guetta, DJ Snake, Hardwell, Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Tiësto, and virtually every other big name your club-lovin' soul enjoys. In addition to delivering that DJ excellence, Ultra's stages are being enhanced like never before. Prepare for sensory overload. Friday through Sunday at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets via ultramusicfestival.com are sold out.
You can't get enough of Stranger Things, and you never met a cupcake you didn't like. It's a wonderful thing when obsessions collide. At Bunnie Cakes Studio, you'll get to create your cupcake designs based on the hit Netflix series. Make Christmas lights out of frosting and maybe top your dessert off with an Eggo waffle; Eleven's favorite snack. You can't make these using mind control, so intermediate experience is recommended. 3 p.m. Friday at the Bunnie Cakes Studio, 2328 NE Second Ave., Miami; bunniecakes.com. Tickets cost $45.
A night at the movies doesn't come cheap. Luckily, Miami has plenty of art houses and independent cinemas that keep ticket prices down, all while eschewing CGI-laden blockbuster reboot duds. The Nite Owl Theater is one such indie-movie spot, and this Friday, it'll screen three back-to-back quality classics for the amount of money you'd typically spend on one ticket and a tub of popcorn at the cineplex. The lineup begins with Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, continues with Fellini's psychedelic Juliet of the Spirits, and wraps up with the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch. 6 p.m. Friday at Nite Owl Theater, 3930 NE Second Ave., Miami; niteowltheater.com. Tickets to each film cost $10.
Filmmaking is no easy task, but it is made all the more difficult under the threat of censorship from an oppressive government regime. This week, Coral Gables Art Cinema presents Cuban directors who have created movies and documentaries in spite of these unfavorable conditions. Selections at Forbidden Fruit: Cuban Independent Film in the 21st Century include Yunaisy, the tale of a young filmmaker whose future is in jeopardy if he refuses to submit to censorship, loosely based on the experience of director Juan Pablo Daranas Molina. The film series kicks off with an opening reception including bites and drinks courtesy of La Taberna Giralda and Bacardi, continues with a panel discussion with participating filmmakers Saturday, and concludes with a reading of Alejandro Ríos’ collection of essays, which often reference Cuban cinema. 6 p.m. Friday at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; gablescinema.com. Series passes cost $45.
Our pets are our friends, confidants, and four-legged children. That's why the folks at Chocolate Milk Photography want to give you a frame-worthy photo of your pup to prop up in your cubicle alongside photos of your human family. Best of all: They're providing their services for free this Saturday, with special doggie treats provided by Grove Naturals. This is your chance to give your pets the level of attention they deserve. 2 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy Park, 2400 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove; chocolatemilk.me. Admission is free.
Students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High have stepped up big time. Will you? If there were ever an opportunity to get out and advocate for school safety and an end to gun violence, it's this weekend. In addition to a massive March for Our Lives event Saturday in Washington, D.C., several sister rallies will take place throughout South Florida. Visit marchforourlives.com to find the one nearest to you. Saturday at multiple locations, including Coral Springs, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Miami Beach, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Palm Beach County, and West Palm Beach; marchforourlives.com. Admission is free.
Technique Records opened only at the beginning of this year, but it's quickly building a name for itself as one of South Florida's must-visit record stores. It's not only the expanding vinyl selection that keeps collectors coming back. Like other popular local shops, Technique has also begun hosting exclusive events for music lovers. To that end, Fred Schneider of the legendary B-52's will play a free DJ set at the Upper Eastside shop Saturday afternoon. Schneider will also stick around to sign fans' records and memorabilia. 4 p.m. Saturday at Technique Records, 853 NE 79th St., Miami; techniquerecords.com. Admission is free.
Craft beer isn't just for bros. In fact, quite a few women are involved in our local brew scene, many of whom will appear at the FemAle Brew Fest. The event provides an opportunity to chat with leading beer ladies at local joints such as Invasive Species, Islamorada Beer Company, Barrel of Monks, and Riverside Market. Expect tons of suds to sample. 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday in Huizenga Plaza, 32 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $45 to $95 via eventbrite.com; designated drivers pay only $15 to $35.
Festival season in Miami doesn't just mean Ultra. There are plenty of regional and day festivals to take advantage of while temperatures stay south of the high 80s. This Saturday, while EDM hippies take over Bayfront Park in glitter and body paint, you can hit up a decidedly much lower-key festival at Miami Dade College's Hialeah campus for the Art, Music & Food Festival. There will be art shows, bounce houses and other kid-friendly activities, food trucks, and live music by local Latin music heavyweight Palo! 10 a.m. Saturday at MDC's Hialeah Campus, 1780 W 49th St., Hialeah; mdc.edu/hialeah. Admission is free.
Almost exactly a year ago, the Pretenders were set to perform at the Fillmore Miami Beach. Then the show was canceled due to illness. They're back in South Florida this week, and the city is ready to rock with them. The Pretenders have been around for 40 years thanks to extra-cool singer, songwriter, and guitarist Chrissie Hynde. This time, they're on the road to promote their latest release, Alone, their first album in eight years, recorded with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. 8 p.m. Sunday at the Fillmore, 1700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; fillmoremb.com. Tickets start at $42.
Women are making some real progress in 2018. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are finally offering a platform for female tales. Locally, the Villain Theater is another platform for women — specifically funny women — to be heard. Stronger Than Yesterday: A Women's Empowherment Festival is an all-femme comedy show presenting comedians iMaddie Cooper, Sherrani Glass, May Durand, Anastasia Pavlinskaya, Julie Baez, Nancy Camm, and others. The Villain is giving back to its Little Haiti community by also bringing in 20 women from FANM, a group that empowers female Haitian immigrants, for improv and painting workshops as well as makeovers. Ticket sales also benefit FANM. 7 p.m. Sunday at Villain Theater, 5865 NE Second Ave., Miami; villaintheater.com. Tickets cost $25.
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Forget dinner and a movie — Flaming Classics is a "drag show and a movie." For this month's iteration, Miami's drag queens will pay their respects to another kind of queen when they screen the late-'90s classic Selena. The biopic, based on the groundbreaking career and tragic murder of "La Reina del Tex-Mex" Selena Quintanilla, was Jennifer Lopez's breakout role. Quintanilla was not only a beloved singer but also a fashion designer, so there will be plenty of iconic looks for the Flaming Classics crew to re-create. 8 p.m. Sunday at Bill Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; flamingclassics.com. Tickets cost $8.
It's March in South Florida, meaning you have about a month left before it's way too hot to bike outside. So don't miss out on the annual Gables Bike Day. Now in its seventh year, the all-day celebration honors pedestrians, cyclists, and their rights. The family-friendly affair is organized by Bike Walk Coral Gables and is all about feeling safe. Make sure to participate in bike tours, exercise classes, and scavenger hunts. Throw your kid into a bounce house while you enjoy some tunes and good company. Noon Sunday at Merrick Park, 2416 Le Jeune Rd., Coral Gables; facebook.com/BikeWalkCoralGables. Admission is free.