There aren't a lot of Miami nightclubs that can claim a 15-year history. For the most part they open, enjoy a brief moment of interest, and then the crowds move on. But Space isn't your ordinary nightclub.
For the better part of its run, Space has been operating on a one-day-a-week schedule, opening Saturday night and going strong well past Sunday morning. The rooms remain packed even as the sun starts creeping through the terrace's roof, with the club eventually awash in daylight — and still the party keeps going.
Even as other clubs have tried to snatch Space's after-hours crowd — most notably Nocturnal, who was able to compete for a while by doing a Friday-night-to-Saturday-morning party — the 11th Street mainstay just won't quit.
We'll admit, our 20-something exuberance for after-hour parties has waned, but we couldn't skip out on helping Space celebrate its 15-year anniversary this past Saturday. So with that in mind, we made sure to go to sleep early and set our alarm for 3:30 a.m. — because if you're going to go to Space, you might as well show up at the peak hour of 4 a.m.
So yes, it was technically Sunday morning when we showed up to the door, but we're glad we took the long disco nap, because by the time we got there, headliner Erick Morillo was already an hour into his set.
You always hear people ask, "Who the hell goes wants to party that late at Space?" Uh, lot's of people. And lot's of different kinds of people. As the downstairs hip-hop room was wrapping up, the terrace and Techno Loft were absolutely packed with club-goers who ranged from ravers with glow-stick tchotchkes, European tourists, weekend warriors, and house heads.
"¿Como estas, Miami?" asked Morillo. Early on in his set he stopped the music to say in English and Spanish how much it meant to him to be playing at Space's anniversary party. If it were 8 a.m., we're pretty sure the crowd might have rioted after he stopped the music, but it was around 4:30, so technically the faux pas was forgivable. Still, it was a good reflection of how much Space has meant to Miami's nightlife and dance music scenes.
Fifteen years ago, Space opened up in an area of Miami that was considered blighted and dangerous. Now, with the impending Miami Worldcenter mega-project, Park West might be the hottest area of real estate that isn't waterfront adjacent. It makes us wonder if Space can continue to operate at its present location after condos are built and residents move in. Still, we weren't here to celebrate impeding doom.
As the crowds cheered Morillo on, the sun started to make its way through the translucent awning above. This weird feeling overcomes us — a mix of pride and panic. You feel like a champion for having stayed up way past your bedtime, but you also realize that your body is going to make you pay later.
We finally made our way out of Space around 7 a.m. As we hit the sidewalk, 11th Street was still busy with activity as daylight crept up.
We'd love to lie to you and say we went home and straight to bed, but instead we stopped at the Corner for a, uh, daycap — so bedtime was again delayed another hour.
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But it's so rare the times we go to Space, that giving up a restful night's sleep to celebrate its anniversary was well worth it.
Happy birthday, Space!
One more thing: Space is opening up a new space that's separate from the main club — it even has its own dedicated entrance. Dubbed Libertine, it's an after-hours lounge and cocktail bar that seems aimed at Miami's downtown and Wynwood set looking to listen to "hipster-approved" tunes.