GroundUp Music Festival artistic director and Snarky Puppy bassist Michael League had his doubts, but it didn't take long for him to learn that Miami is the perfect environment for hosting a music festival. The weather's perfect during the winter, and the fervor of Miami music fans is criminally underestimated. GroundUp returns this weekend with performances by Snarky Puppy and Andrew Bird. Continue the celebration at 1-800-Lucky's Chinese New Year party on Saturday, and lend a hand to a struggling Miami musician at a benefit concert on Sunday afternoon.
Here are the best events happening in Miami this weekend.
GroundUp Music Festival is an intimate music festival with a megafest lineup. Headlining this year's three-day affair are Snarky Puppy, Andrew Bird, Lalah Hathaway, Richard Bona, and David Crosby & the Lighthouse Band. Some of the artists also have interactive workshops, so you can complement your rockin' with some learnin'. Friday through Sunday at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission costs $85 for one-day tickets and $225 for three-day passes via festival.groundupmusic.net.
Tyler Perry's lovable Mabel "Madea" Simmons has endeared herself to fans for more than 20 years. And March 1, the Madea chapter will come to a close when the character goes bye-bye in the film A Madea Family Funeral. But before she's given the RIP treatment, Perry is taking her and the family on the road for Tyler Perry's Madea's Farewell Play Tour. Among its stops is downtown Miami this week. 8 p.m. Friday at James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; jlkc.com. Tickets cost $45 to $95.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Wynwood's trendy Asian Market, 1-800-Lucky. In addition to bites from the market's anchor restaurants, enjoy a set by Grammy Award-winning artist Little Louie Vega. There will also be dragon dances among other visual spectacles and surprises. 10 p.m. Saturday at 1-800-Lucky, 143 NW 23rd St., Miami. Admission is free.
Lots of art forms will come together Saturday at ArtCenter/South Florida. During an evening co-presented by IlluminArts, the music program Terence Price II: Here After will own the stage. The work is inspired by the recent photographic exhibition "Dancing in the Absence of Pain," an intimate look at family and community that zooms in on contemporary black life and the often harsh realities that come with it. The program's tunes include classics such as "Amazing Grace" and contemporary pieces like Bill Withers' "Stories." 6:30 p.m. Saturday at ArtCenter/South Florida, 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; artcentersf.org. Admission is free.
That sashay better be on point, because it's time for Catwalk: A Night of Vogue. The sixth edition of the popular catwalk event has found a new home at 1306. Among the many categories in which any guest may participate are runway, realness, face, bizarre, and vogue performance. And you can totally take home some dough for bringing your A-game. This is what you've been practicing for in your bedroom your entire life. 11 p.m. Saturday at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; facebook.com. $10 at the door.
Forget partying like it's 1999. Let's party like it's the 16th Century. The 27th-annual Florida Renaissance Festival is set to kick off Saturday at Quiet Waters Park. This year's time-traveling affair offers more than 100 artisans selling goods and more than 100 performers mingling about. If you enjoy booze, the onsite pub crawl is always a blast and hits five Ren Fest pubs. Cheers ye, cheers ye! 10 a.m. to sunset Saturday (and Saturdays and Sundays through March 24) at Quiet Waters Park, 401 Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach. Tickets cost $25 for adults via ren-fest.com; various discounts are available.
Organized by staff members from Florida International University and the Miami Brewers Alliance, BrewMiami returns with more than 20 breweries and spirits producers, including Lincoln's Beard, Concrete Beach, Tipping Animals, and Islamorada Beer Co. The goal is to promote locally made beer and Miami's burgeoning beer industry through an evening of chilled suds, unlimited food from nearby restaurants, music, and live entertainment. Some event proceeds will benefit United Way. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Riccardo Silva Stadium, 11310 SW 17th St., Miami, Florida; 305-348-4263. Tickets cost $30 to $60 via brewmiami.com.
No date for Valentine's Day? In a relationship and want to have fun without a fancy dinner? Meet local singles (or not) and join hundreds of crawlers at a special-edition Valentine's Bar Crawl while sipping drinks across Wynwood. You'll start at Shots and continue to El Patio, No. 3 Social, Barter, Cafeina, the Butcher Shop, and Centro. Besides enjoying one included drink at each venue, take advantage of additional drink specials, giveaways, and no cover at any of the participating bars. 7 p.m. Saturday at Shots Miami, 311 NW 23rd St., Miami. Tickets cost $10 to $30 via eventbrite.com.
Ajhanou Uneek is a powerful force in the Miami music scene, and particularly in Little Haiti as part of the band Rara Rocks Roots Rasin. But the musical warrior was recently diagnosed with stage four breast cancer that has spread throughout her body. The Miami art community has rallied to support her, and all community members can help this Sunday at the Arts & Beats fundraiser being put together in her honor. Uneek is unable to work and needs help with basic necessities. You can donate at the benefit concert and silent auction, or donate through the Eventbrite ticket link. 4 p.m. Sunday at Jakmel Art Gallery, 154 NW 37th St., Miami. Admission is free, but donation options are available via eventbrite.com.
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Drink some Jameson and support a good cause? Yes, please. The Love Thy Neighborhood Block Party Tour will stop in the 305 this Sunday. All proceeds from the event will go to Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit dedicated to helping local communities stay beautiful, green, and clean. Expect Jameson cocktail samplings, craft beer tastings, and whiskey education sessions led by a Jameson master. 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $35 via jamesonblockparty.com.
All kinds of unexpected and fun folks come together for Curator Culture events at the Bass. Sunday's shindig will be no exception when activist Kimberly Drew and New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow sit down for a curated conversation titled "Seen and Heard: The Elements of Style in Art and Politics." The sit-down will be moderated by writer Tim Healy, and the series aims to answer a simple question: What is really worth our time? 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Bass, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; thebass.org. Admission cost $10, and RSVP is required.
Brunch before bros! Celebrate with your girls at the Galentine's Brewzy Brunch. Sip Rosé Ale beermosas while enjoying fare catered by Hummingbird Table. Strike a pose in the photo booth, and post your most scandalous admissions on the anonymous confession wall. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-796-2727; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.