Ask the world to close its eyes and say the first thing that comes to mind when it thinks of Miami nightlife. Chances are you'll get a lot of Scarface, boobs, EDM, bottle service, and the occasional naked, ketchup-covered woman twerking at a Johnny Rockets.
All of these things are technically true, but few actually represent what it's like to go out in Miami. Except the naked ketchup woman. That one sums us up pretty well.
But other than that, Miami and its world famous nightlife scene is largely a caricature the rest of the world has illustrated over the years. So please stop asking us where you can buy cocaine and check out a few of the biggest misconceptions below.
8. You don't need to be rich to go out.
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It certainly doesn't hurt to have money if you're heading out for a night on the town in Miami. Dollars can get you a whole lot in this city. Not only can you get your pick of the VIP tables at LIV but David Grutman will personally tickle your feet with a chicken feather if the price is right. However, we have cheaper alternatives. The legendary happy hour at Mac's Club Deuce will serve you cheap two-for-one drinks from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m every day of the week. Churchill's is just about always a safe bet for cheap booze and free music. Shit, hop your ass down to Coconut Grove and drink Moose Juice with UM kids until everything starts to get blurry. We have other options beside $17 aluminum bottles of Bud Light.
7. We don't spend all our time on South Beach.
Miamians treat South Beach the way most people treat birthday cake. It's awesome and tasty, but if you have it every day, all the time, you'll die a sticky death. Between the traffic and the prices, South Beach is a no-fly zone for most of us. We watch it from a distance, like monkeys in a zoo, wary that, at any moment, we might get poo flung at us.
6. We don't all know how to salsa.
Some of us do. Go to Ball & Chain on a Saturday night and you'll see people tearing it the fuck up. But look around some more and you're sure to see some shamed patrons with their backs against the wall, Googling "Hips?!" on their phones. Don't expect us all to be Shakira on the dance floor. We're more like Shaq at the free-throw line.
5. We don't all do cocaine.
Not all of us. Some of us, definitely. But those people are easy to spot. The dude who keeps trying to high-five the DJ? Yeah, he's zooted. The chick who's wiping at her nose like a third base coach telling you to steal home? Yup, she's down with the booger sugar. That guy who throws a bunch of napkins in the air? No, he's just an asshole. Tony Montana was a fictional character. And the Cocaine Cowboys are either dead, in jail, or Mickey Munday. So please stop asking us where you can find some blow. I've got flour and sea salt from Trader Joes. That's about as close as I'll get.
4. We have local bands.
Yup. In terms of live music, there are more options than international Swedish DJs. Check out our concert calendar for a weekly selection of locals to choose from. Still not convinced? Hop in a time machine, go back to this year's III Points festival, and watch all the great local acts tear up the stage. The Miami music scene is small and at times frustrating, but it deserves more national recognition than it gets.
3. Pitbull isn't the soundtrack to our lives.
We don't wake up every morning, roll out of bed, throw on our sunglasses, and start dancing to the latest Pitbull joint. He's Miami's biggest star and never lets you forget that he was born within the confines of the 305, and — don't get us wrong — we're proud of him. But if you're at a respectable venue and "Timber" comes on, call 911, because the DJ just had a seizure and fell face-first onto his computer, where his nose accidentally searched YouTube for "Pitbull + Ke$ha."
2. Every weekend isn't Ultra.
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Contrary to what you might have seen in movies and music videos, Ultra comes to town only once a year. The rest of the time, we don't have glittery, half-naked 18-year-olds roaming our streets like thirsty herds of buffalo. Sure, you'll see a few of them once in a while, scared and shoeless, wandering the streets after losing their friends in the Space bathroom. Just throw them in an Uber, and be sure to wash your hands twice.
1. Will Smith does not, in fact, welcome you to Miami.
In 1997, Will Smith dropped "Miami," a song that could have served as our city's official theme song if it weren't for the fact that Will Smith is not from here or even Florida, for that matter and, since the release of the track, has pretty much ignored Miami completely. Some out-of-towners throw this tune on the jukebox and expect the bar to go bananas, but we really don't give a damn about Will Smith or his fake-ass Miami pride. You don't see us walking around with cheesesteaks singing jingles about the Liberty Bell, do ya, Will? So unless you plan on building us a library with that "Miami" money, leave us alone. Want to really light up the room? Put on some 2 Live Crew. Or Trina. Or Trick Daddy. Really, anything but Will Smith.