It's only Monday, but you're probably eagerly awaiting Labor Day weekend. There's no need to wait till Friday to have fun. Start celebrating early at Yo Miami's Last Call Comedy Show, which marks its first anniversary at Concrete Beach this Tuesday. Then head to Vinyl Social Club at Technique Records Wednesday night to spin your favorite records from your own collection, and wrap up the week at Ball & Chain's annual Labor Day weekend blowout.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
Yo Miami's Last Call Comedy Show is now the longest-running comedy night in Wynwood after getting its start at Wynwood Brewing in 2014. The show moved to Concrete Beach last summer, and its crew is now celebrating one year of laughs at the new host venue. To celebrate the anniversary, attendees can earn a special prize for telling their own jokes at the mike. 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 28, at Concrete Beach, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.
Single in Miami? You might be eligible to participate in the Standard's Summer Lovin' Speed Dating. Get busy preparing your application before day's end Monday, August 27 — being approved is not guaranteed because it's a "curated" event. Your gender or sexual preference doesn't matter; all you need to have is a Miami address, single status, and a desire to find love. The event is hosted by Erin Michelle Newberg and will feature resident astrologer Lori Bell, who will help you find your love match. Your friends are welcome to hang out too. They're tired of hearing about your bad Tinder dates, so do them a favor and submit. 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 29, at the Standard, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach; summerspeed.splashthat.com. Free to apply and to attend.
Hank Willis Thomas and Baz Dreisinger have put together an exhibition at the Frost Art Museum that features writing — poems, essays, letters, diagrams — by people in prison all over the world, from Norway to Uganda. As a professor, Dreisinger taught in prisons and collected these bits of overlooked history. Now those papers she gathered make up "The Writing on the Wall," a show that highlights the terrors, sadness, and ineptitude of the prison system. The show is also a part of Hank Willis Thomas and Eric
Do you love vinyl? In 2018, you're no longer alone, and Technique Records wants to give lovers of wax a place to gather and spin records from their collections. At Vinyl Social Club, you won't need to wait for the DJ to play your favorite song — you are the DJ. Arrive early to sign up for a 20-minute set, and be sure to RSVP, because these hump-day events quickly fill to capacity. And if you're just there to listen, there will be PBR and Milly's Empanadas too. 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 29, at Technique Records, 853 NE 79th St., Miami; techniquerecords.com. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
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Ball & Chain has been a Little Havana institution for 83 years. For the past three years, the beloved bar and lounge has hosted an energetic music fest. Now the Ball & Chain Music Festival is back for a fourth consecutive year and is showing no signs of slowing. The three-day event boasts more than 100 performers, including Palo!, Zarabanda, Marlow Rosado, Timbalive, and Sonlokos. Friday, August 31, through Sunday at Ball & Chain, 1513 SW Eighth St., Miami; ballandchainmiami.com. Admission is free; table reservations are available.
Remember the Obama years? Feels like an eternity ago. Now you can reflect on those days with the first oral history of President Barack Obama's tenure and his unique political machine. Author Brian Abrams' latest book, Obama: An Oral History, 2009-2017, provides an incredible portrait of the POTUS and his surroundings, based on more than 100 exclusive interviews. Hear about the book and stories from Abrams himself during his visit to Books & Books. 8 p.m. Friday, August 31, at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free with registration.
If you can't handle sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and hilariously offensive comedy, avoid Gramps this Friday night. But if you're into catching one of South Beach's comedic icons and laughing at anything and everything, don't miss Shelley Novak's Triggered! An Evening of Inappropriate Comedy. She and drag comedian/star Yoko Oso are coming together for a show in Gramps' backroom, Shirley's. 10 p.m. Friday, August 31, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; facebook.com. Admission is free.
Do you really need an excuse to celebrate Churchill's? The Little Haiti dive is one of the best bars and anything-goes venues in the universe. But there will be an extra reason to worship at the "Church" this week. It's the 39th anniversary of the dirty little pub founded nearly four decades ago by former owner and British cider drinker Dave Daniels. The devoted can honor Churchill's with a week of special events, kicking off Sunday with music by Unfiltered, free coffee, and plenty of spirits — both the boozy and ghostly kinds. The party is free and 18-and-up, so feel free to indoctrinate your younger siblings and cousins. 9 p.m. Sunday, September 2, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; churchillspub.com. Admission is free.
Kick off the 2018 college football season with a proper watch party at the classic South Beach party spot the Clevelander. The game, of course, is University of Miami versus Louisiana State University. The party is hosted by former players Jonathan Vilma, DJ Williams, Antrel Rolle, and Brett Romber, all of whom are behind the OTH (Out the Huddle) podcast and digital streaming service for fans. You can enjoy the game with bottle service or a VIP experience to make yourself feel like a true baller instead of just someone rooting for them. 6:30 p.m. Sunday, September 2, at Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; outthehuddle.com. General admission is free; VIP packages range from $1,600 to $2,000 via eventbrite.com.