Head to the Fair to escape Miami Music Week chaos.
The time has come. From March 25 through 31, hundreds of thousands of dance music fans from around the globe will descend upon Miami to experience world-renowned DJs, producers, and electronic musicians. And if you somehow missed the news, Ultra Music Festival is moving to Virginia Key. Shit is about to get crazy.
From South Beach to downtown, Miami will see an onslaught of concerts and parties. If you're here for that insanity, check out New Times'Miami Music Week 2019 Party Guide. But if you're looking to avoid the chaos, keep reading. From food festivals to bounce houses, these are the ten best ways to avoid Miami Music Week madness.
Big Bounce America. A surefire way to avoid the Miami Music Week whirlwind is to leave Dade and head to Broward County. From family fun to adult-only bounce sessions, the roving inflatable theme park Big Bounce America offers three unique experiences: the World's Biggest Bounce House, the Giant, and AirSpace. This over-the-top attraction offers something for everyone, from live DJs to obstacle courses to confetti blasts and bubbles. For those looking to relive backyard birthday parties sans children, Big Bounce America also provides adults-only sessions. March 29 through 31 and April 5 through 7 at Miramar Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar; 954-883-6950; thebigbounceamerica.com. Tickets cost $16 to $28 plus fees via thebigbounceamerica.com/tickets.
Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition. If you're a 305 lifer, a visit to the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, affectionately known as the Fair, isn't even a question, bro. Because why wouldn't you want to stuff your face with extreme carnival foods and test your limits on rides? If you still want to get your music fix minus the uhntz-uhntz, pass by the new Boulevard Stage, where Backroom Sessions has programmed more than 45 hours of emerging acts. Discover your new favorite local music act at the Fair this year. March 14 through April 7, except March 18 and 19 and April 1 and 2, at 10901 SW 24th St., Miami; 305-223-7060. Admission costs $14 via fairexpo.com, and discounts are available.
Catch Athena Dion (left) and RuPaul's Drag Race alumna Shangela at Ultimate Miami Drag Queen.
Photo by Carina Mask
Ultimate Miami Drag Queen. When Miss Vanjie and Shangela are in town, you stop everything you're doing and pay attention. This year, the RuPaul's Drag Race contestants are headlining the eighth-annual Ultimate Miami Drag Queen at Magic City Casino, where Miami's fiercest queens will go head-to-head for the chance to win $5,000 and the title of "Ultimate Miami Drag Queen." Past winners Athena Dion and Tiffany Fantasia will slay the stage with a special performance as they pass the torch to this year's winner. We can only hope the eliminated queens will take notes from Miss Vanjie on how to properly sashay away. 9 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami; 305-649-3000; magiccitycasino.com. Tickets cost $25 to $75 plus fees.
Las Nubes, Calyx, and Juan Ricardo ICH at Sweat Records. Every local music nerd's paradise is undoubtedly Sweat Records. And for those who don't plan on making the pilgrimage to the EDM fest on Virginia Key, this local institution has you covered with free music. Saturday, March 30, catch an in-store performance by Pittsburgh's Calyx, as well as Las Nubes and Juan Ricardo ICH. It's an all-ages show, so no excuses. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Sweat Records, 5505 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-693-9309; sweatrecordsmiami.com. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Femme improvisers, standup comics, and musicians will perform at Stronger Than Yesterday.
Photo by Karli Evans
Stronger Than Yesterday: An All-Femme Comedy Night. By this point, you've endured five days of tourists and traffic warfare and could probably use a good laugh to offset the overload. Described as "a women’s empowerment night of comedy," Stronger Than Yesterday returns for a night of femme improvisers, standup comics, and musicians. (We can always appreciate a Britney Spears-inspired name.) Catch standup comedians May Durand, Stephanie Casanova, Anastasia Pavlinskaya, and Shana Manuel; improvised musical Miami Noise Machine; and live music by Priscilla Blanco. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami. Support a good cause and hang out with some of Miami’s funniest. 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Villain Theater, 5865 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-391-2241; villaintheater.com. Tickets cost $25 plus fees.
Eat away your worries at the Deering Seafood Festival.
Photo by Jorge Martinez
Deering Seafood Festival. It's that time of year to overindulge in mouthwatering seafood and lapse into a food coma for the next five days. But who cares? As long as you're surrounded by nature doing something you love, it's worth it. At the 15th-annual Deering Seafood Festival, sate your appetite with fresh seafood and desserts from local spots Golden Rule Seafood, Antigua & Barbuda Association of South Florida, Catering by Les, Don Camaron Seafood Grill & Market, Paella Party, Popo’s Seafood, Rodbenders Raw Bar & Grill, Sports Grill, Tacos & Tattoos, Chill-N, Gringa Flan, and Wendy’s Chocolates. The highly anticipated event overlooking the bay will also offer live entertainment, celebrity chef demos, kid-friendly activities, and other diversions. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at the Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay; 305-235-1668; deeringestate.org. Admission starts at $20 presale via etix.com and $25 at the gate; admission for children aged 4 to 14 costs $7 presale and $10 at the gate. Mixed Media. It's no secret the 305 will be overrun with tourists during Miami Music Week, turning the city into one big, sweaty rage fest. But if you still want to experience the magic of the extravaganza — from a distance — look no further than Space Mountain. Hosted by Grey Area, Mixed Media is described on its Facebook event page as "an exhibition exploring the fringes of electronic music and art, providing you with an alternative to your ordinary Miami Music Week experience." Get ready to get weird with Machìna, Baby Vulture, Brainville, and other electronic artists. 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at Space Mountain Miami, 738 NW 62nd St., Miami; spacemountainmia.org. Tickets cost $15 to $25 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. SiriusXM Yacht Rock Radio Presents: Yacht Rock Revue. Who would've thought Miami Music Week would bring you and your parents closer together? If there ever were a crowd to appreciate yacht rock, it'd be South Florida, whose favorite pastimes include kicking it on actual yachts. Chill out and sing along to the soft-rock hits of the late '70s and early '80s at Yacht Rock Revue. If you're not familiar with the internet phenomenon of this music style, check out Rolling Stone's oral history of yacht rock. 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; jointherevolution.net. Tickets cost $16 plus fees via ticketmaster.com.
The Flaming Lips at House of Creatives Music Festival.
Photo by Ian Witlen
Classic Album Sundays: The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi.Sure, listening to your favorite albums in your car is nothing short of an experience. That is until you listen to your favorite album pumped through world-class audio equipment in the company of other fans. Classic Album Sundays have a new home at Deja Vu Audio South, where fans of the Flaming Lips' 2002 album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, will gather in the audio store's showroom. Your ticket to the special listening event — brought to the 305 by Sweat Records, Deja Vu Audio South, and Classic Album Sundays — includes cocktails and snacks. 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at Deja Vu Audio South, 120 NW 25th St., Suite 302, Miami; 305-306-7249; dejavuaudiosouth.com. Tickets cost $10 plus fees via eventbrite.com.
Don't forget to dress up as your favorite character from The Office.
Photo by Ian Witlen
The Office Bar Crawl & Trivia. Calling all fans of The Office. Miami Bar Crawls will host the Office Bar Crawl & Trivia, where Dunder Mifflin devotees will kick off the night at Blackbird Ordinary and test their knowledge of the hit show. After the trivia portion, TV-binging revelers will make their way to Bar Latin Bar, RedBar Brickell, Batch Gastropub, and American Social for a free drink and specials at each spot. Does it get any better than dressing as your favorite character from The Office and roaming the streets with a little liquid courage? But if you don't know anything about the show and simply want to bar-crawl, that works too — there's a ticket option for the bar crawl only, sans trivia. 6 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW First Ave., Miami, 786-389-1092; miamibarcrawls.com. Tickets cost $15 to $25 plus fees via eventbrite.com.