Dominik Ceylan (left)EXPAND
Dominik Ceylan (left)
Courtesy of the artist

Rakastella Brings Top Electronic Talent and Surprises to Virginia Key Beach

Over the past decade, the epicenter of Miami clubland has shifted noticeably westward. The promise of the '80s kitsch and cooling winds of South Beach once defined a late night (or early morning) out on the town, but Miamians and curious out-of-towners have migrated to the mainland in search of cheap thrills and even cheaper drugs or drinks.

A major player in this shift has been PL0T. For the past ten years, the promotion company and its founder, Rebecca “Becks” Lange, have brought some of the most forward-thinking national and international musical talents to Miami, in turn redefining how locals relate to the city’s music venues and pushing its cultural character into a more unexplored, experimental realm.

This Saturday, PL0T will take the party back to the Beach.

In collaboration with Electric Pickle, along with beloved electronic-music labels Innervisions and Life & Death and others, PL0T will host Rakastella, a 14-hour party that will see Virginia Key Beach transformed into a utopian — if a bit sandy — dance floor.

“Rakastella has been my personal dream for these past ten years,” Lange gushes. "It's the best of both worlds united, and it compiles artists that I not only admire but personally love. It's actually the first time [Innervisions and Life & Death] have come together on this level; they've both had artists from each label invited to their respective showcases, but never to this level of collaboration on the artistic direction and curation."

Come Saturday, that collaboration will manifest in the form of three stages, along with several merchandise pop-ups, food vendors, a live painting project, and other boutiques. According to Dominik Ceylan, the chief booker of Innervision’s booking agency, Temporary Secretary, Rakastella represents an opportunity for Innervisions to not only stake its claim in Art Basel but also create something truly unique and previously unseen in Miami.

“Rakastella is not about big names only. We would like to attract people who want to have a good time and don’t only focus on one dimension,” Ceylan says. “We believe that creating a multidimensional, quality event will bring the right crowd to this very special gathering during one of the busiest weeks of the year in Miami.”

Although those big names are not the only draw, they are a major one. For those who prefer to get their music-related news from Resident Advisor and often find themselves at Club Space at 7 a.m. Sunday, Rakastella’s lineup is absurdly stacked, with the likes of Dixon, Roman Flügel, Axel Boman, and other favorites gracing the lineup.

In addition to offering the talent on display, Rakastella will also host several performances of a decidedly rare nature. Âme, the German DJ/production duo that runs the Innervisions label alongside Dixon, will debut the first U.S. Âme II Âme show — an innovative fusion of the duo's live production and DJ sets — at Rakastella. What’s more, Brooklyn-based house artist Octo Octa will perform an atypical live show rather than a conventional DJ set. Curating an inviting environment that allows artists and attendees to do things a little differently is one of the tenets of Rakastella.

”It’s a very unique lineup," Lange says. “I would almost say it’s the best lineup of its kind.”

“I personally think we have a very good start but also have a bit of room to grow for next year,” Ceylan adds. “We know the diversity of both labels, and we can’t wait for the second edition to be even more impressive.”

Until then, it would seem as though Lange, Ceylan, and their partners have assembled something very special indeed. But even with the array of exciting events already promised, Lange is adamant that attendees will be pleasantly surprised this weekend.

“Even more interesting is what we don't want announced; we really want to blow our guests away with unexpected moments,” Lange says. “The blessing of being on the beach shore, with sandy toes, in the middle of December with 70-degree weather at a really unique party in Miami... should — we would hope — be a big enough motive to make the move.”

Rakastella. With DJ Tennis, Dixon, Mano Le Tough, Red Axes, and others. 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, December 9, in Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Key Beach Dr., Miami; 305-960-4600; virginiakeybeachpark.net. Tickets cost $35 to $85 via residentadvisor.net and $120 at the gate.

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