Nothing makes you feel quite as broke as sharing space with fashionistas and supermodels. And while there are plenty of before and after photos to show you that beauty is in the hand of the richest bitch, you can still feel fabulous during Swim Week with just a couple of bucks. So throw on whatever you get wet in and make your way to these free events all over South Florida.
Miami Summer Music Festival at the Betsy Hotel
8 p.m. Monday, July 17
Betsy Hotel South Beach owner Jonathan Plutzik was recently named best arts philanthropist by this publication. That's because even though he owns a hotel on a strip of land known for its vacuousness, he is committed to fostering quality fine arts in Miami. The Betsy is doing it again with the Miami Summer Music Festival, offering opera, Broadway, and chamber music performances by Miami Music Festival alumni and visiting musicians. Get acquainted with up-and-coming talents for free at these concerts that are, thankfully, a rarity no more but still a treat in SoBe.
Nicholas Mirzoeff Lecture at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
7 p.m. Thursday, July 20
How many hours a day do you spend looking at Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube? How often do you mention a meme or a Facebook video in conversation? With visual culture inundating our lives, can we measure the effects of images on our society and psyches? Nicholas Mirzoeff has been asking himself that last question for years, which makes sense for someone who has pioneered academic inquiry into the visual nature of politics, art, and technology. His lecture at the ICA will cover his latest book, How to See the World, and his upcoming book, The Appearance of Black Lives Matter.
Bryan Norcross Book Signing at Books & Books Coral Gables
7 p.m. Thursday, July 20
We may know him as the hurricane expert who guided South Floridians through one of the worst storms in the region's history, but Bryan Norcross has continued to have a prestigious career as a hurricane specialist, covering the devastating Hurricane Sandy and routinely scrutinizing government response to natural disasters. In his book that was released this past May, My Hurricane Andrew Story, Norcross goes into detail about his experience covering that devastating storm in 1992, what we learned from it, and what we have yet to learn about extreme weather.
Brochella Park Jam at Markham Park
Noon Thursday, July 20
Flower crowns, lace bras, and headdresses aren't the unofficial uniform of this music festival. At Brochella Weekend, expect a dress code of backward caps and single chains. The musicians at BroLife Music Group want to showcase the talent spilling out of Broward County and other parts of South Florida, so they're throwing some parties to get your attention. To support some homegrown hip-hop and R&B, make the trek to Sunrise for a car show and competition from Tilted Lifestyle, food trucks, boozy slushies, and, of course, live music.
Nice & Smooth at B-Side
10 p.m. Friday, July 21st
B-Side is keeping the resurgence of the '90s alive with its latest show, New York City's Nice & Smooth. Throughout their career, Greg Nice and Smooth B have caught the ears of legends like Tupac and De La Soul, although you might recognize only their somber “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” single or the catchier “Hip Hop Junkies.” They haven't released an album since 1997, but you can reminisce with the duo on the tiny dance floor of this Allapattah bar.
Yes: Swim Week Edition at Basement Miami
10 p.m. Thursday, July 20
If you need a new bikini to show off for the week of all things watery, look no further than the July edition of Basement Miami's monthly queer party, Yes. Aside from an open bar from 11 p.m. to midnight, there will be over 50 swimwear giveaways from brands Slick It Up, Marco Marco, and CIN-2. No cover, open bar, and free stuff, all set to a soundtrack by DJ Joe Gauthreaux? Sounds pretty glamorous for not spending a dollar.
Miami Curves Week Style Marketplace at Marseilles Hotel
10 a.m. Saturday, July 22
With all that Swim Week offers the fashion industry in Miami, it's amazing that there hasn't been more diversity until fairly recently. With Miami Curves Week, folks of all shapes can celebrate the duds that suit the fuller- figured woman while enjoying the same pools, sun, and fun that brings the titans of swimwear to our city every year. The Style Marketplace is your chance to shop curvy-focused brands with the advice of celebrity stylist Meaghan O'Connor.
Swim Week BBQ at Freehand Miami
1 p.m. Sunday, July 23
At one of the more low-key hotel pools on Miami Beach, there's been an annual party celebrating the tiny pieces of fabric that make swimming in public legal. At Freehand Miami's fourth Swim Week BBQ, enjoy delicious libations from the Broken Shaker, drink specials from Peroni, and music by More or Less featuring Brother Dan, Tony Disco, Deejay Ray, and Klauss. Don't forget your suit!
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