Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami Beach 2017: This Year's Best Parties

Cupcakke Courtesy photo

Rows and rows of booths painted the perfect shade of white will fill tents and hotels all over Miami. Art spaces will stuff every inch of their galleries with all kinds of visual media. People with money to burn will live their flashiest lives, and gallerists will quickly descend on them in the hopes of making a sale. It's all a quasi-disgusting display of excess and proof of a bloated art market rigged to leave the average person out.

So don't feel bad in trying to pretend like you belong during Miami Art Week. You barely have enough money for rent this month, so there's no shame in grabbing a free glass or two of Dom Pérignon. Rest assured there will be plenty of champagne flowing this week. If there's anything the megarich like doing more than buying art they don't understand, it's partying.

If anyone knew how to live it up in Miami, it was fashion designer Gianni Versace. This year, elite Basel-goers can step inside his former Ocean Drive manse when the eighth-annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Finale takes over Villa Casa Casuarina. The invitation-only party, hosted by Artsy and Insecure creator and star Issa Rae, will celebrate this year's 16 finalists before announcing the winner. Friday, December 8, at Villa Casa Casuarina, 1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Invitation only.

There's no shame in grabbing a free glass or two of Dom Pérignon.

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New York's the Butter Group will escape the Big Apple chill all week while it pops up at not one but two venues. Its 1Oak brand will once again take over Rockwell. Thursday, December 7, through Saturday, December 9, at Rockwell, 743 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Invitation only.

Meanwhile, Butter Group's Up&Down, which opened Tuesday, December 5, at the beachside tent at Nautilus, will continue drawing a crowd. Plenty of A-listers will make their way in all week, so expect the door policy to be very selective. Tuesday, December 5, through Saturday, December 9, at 125 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Invitation only.

Looking for something with a bit more attitude? Catwalk: A Night of Vogue returns for another fierce competition down the runway as part of Satellite Art Fair. Bring your best walk to the North Beach venue for a chance to win the $250 grand prize. Music will be provided by MikeQ, Quest?onmarc, Jsport, Gooddroid, and Bonnie Beats, but the main event is a live performance by Chicago rapper Cupcakke. Friday, December 8, at the Ocean Terrace Hotel, 7450 Ocean Ter., Miami Beach. Admission costs $9 via

American Express is inviting its Platinum and Centurion card members to the Miami Beach Edition for Platinum House. Think of it as an oasis from Basel mayhem, offering beauty services, aura photography, and musical performances all weekend. Card members can bring up to three guests, so choose wisely. Thursday, December 7, through Sunday, December 10, at the Miami Beach Edition, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free for American Express Platinum and Centurion card members.

click to enlarge Royal Trux - COURTESY PHOTO
Royal Trux
Courtesy photo

Montauk hot spot the Surf Lodge is taking over the W South Beach. If you can get on the guest list, you can gain access to Andy Warhol's Factory Party Thursday, December 7, and the Daniel Arsham x Kith afterparty with Lion Babe performing live and DJ Cassidy on the decks Friday, December 8. Wednesday, December 6, through Saturday, December 9, at the W South Beach, 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Invitation only.

1-800-Lucky will debut this week, so rest assured the Asian food hall will be the epicenter of the Wynwood party scene. German DJ/producer Boys Noize will take over at 10 p.m. Friday, December 8, and Hot Creations will host Lee Foss and Det Lef beginning at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, December 10. Rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Masta Killa and special guests will be at the hall from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 9, for a meet-and-greet and to sign autographs. 1-800-Lucky, 250 NW 23rd St., Miami.

Feel like slumming it? No visit to Miami is complete without a stop at the city's punk-rock institution, Churchill's Pub. Partnering with the local promoters of Poplife, Look Alive Fest promises to be radically different from other Basel party offerings. Expect performances by Wolf Eyes and Drew McDowall and Miami debuts by Royal Trux and Ono. It's gonna be noisy, loud, and the best look at the real Miami far away from the tents. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, December 8, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission costs $25.

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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran