Art Basel Miami Beach

The Ten Best Miami Art Week 2018 Parties

Let the champagne flow!
Let the champagne flow! Photo by Chris Carter
click to enlarge Let the champagne flow! - PHOTO BY CHRIS CARTER
Let the champagne flow!
Photo by Chris Carter
Guy Gerber, Kaskade, Richie Hawtin, Zhu. It's not preposterous to say Miami Art Week has turned into a Miami Music Week 2.0 of sorts. The city usually expects an influx of dance music's heavy hitters to land on its sunny shores in March.

Miami Art Week 2018 sits in stark contrast to previous editions, when, rather than DJs, live acts such as Ariel Pink, the Black Lips, Peaches, Yacht, and Matt & Kim flocked to town in December, giving the city some relief from the constant EDM buzz. This year also seems to offer fewer branded events than past iterations, which is a win against consumerism but a loss for people who enjoy free stuff. Yes, if you go out every night during the Art Basel mayhem, expect to drop a pretty penny: The most expensive ticket is $200 for Calvin Harris' gig at LIV Saturday, December 8.

However, there is still a good number of invite-only events that in previous years boasted considerable star wattage — both the Hollywood and art-world kind — and exclusive live performances. In the past, acts such as Miley Cyrus and Madonna wowed the elite. This year, it's the quickly rising Spanish pop singer-songwriter Rosalía's turn when she headlines a VIP-only party hosted by Ximena Campos at the Faena Theater Wednesday, December 5.

Don't fret. There are plenty of quality bashes worth enduring the godawful traffic next week.
click to enlarge Flying Lotus - COURTESY OF PARADIGM AGENCY
Flying Lotus
Courtesy of Paradigm Agency
Boom Basel, with Flying Lotus and Virgil Abloh. III Points and the Fader have teamed up to deliver experimental producer and electronic musician Flying Lotus — along with Louis Vuitton creative director and DJ Virgil Abloh — to the RC Cola Plant in Wynwood. Last year, III Points put on an amazing if controversially received Björk DJ set during Basel, so anticipate an equally memorable night with Flying Lotus. 10 p.m. Thursday, December 6, at RC Cola Plant, 550 NW 24th St., Miami. Tickets cost $25 to $30 via showclix.com.
click to enlarge Loco Dice - PHOTO BY EMANUELE D’ANGELO
Loco Dice
Photo by Emanuele D’angelo
Serán Bendecidos, with Loco Dice, Guti, wAFF, and others. Expect to be #blessed when Tunisian DJ Loco Dice brings his Serán Bendecidos series to town. The party is to take place at the new Wynwood Factory, an event space that debuted over Halloween weekend when it hosted Hallowarehouse. The fun will likely run well into the early morning, so be sure you have an excuse to get out of work Friday. 10 p.m. Thursday, December 6, at Wynwood Factory, 55 NE 24th St., Miami; wynwoodfactory.com. Tickets cost $30 to $40 via electrostub.com.
Turbo 20th-anniversary party, with Tiga and Due Diligence. Any dance-music fan from the early '00s will be familiar with Turbo Recordings, the Montreal label founded by Tiga in 1998. To celebrate Turbo's two decades, Tiga is touring North America and providing plenty of dance-floor throwbacks. The bash arrives at the Delano's Florida Room during peak Basel. To get yourself ready, check out Tiga's curated 20-year playlist featuring notable Turbo artists such as Duke Dumont, ZZT, and Chromeo. 11 p.m. Thursday, December 6, at Florida Room, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami. Admission is free with RSVP via tixr.com.
click to enlarge Paris Hilton, Peter Brandt, and Jeremy Scott at the Surf Lodge - BFA.COM
Paris Hilton, Peter Brandt, and Jeremy Scott at the Surf Lodge
Republic Records party at the Surf Lodge. Every year, the Montauk, New York, hot spot the Surf Lodge travels to Miami Beach and takes over a local hotel to throw nonstop VIP parties throughout the week. The Confidante was tapped as the Surf Lodge's headquarters this year, and on Friday, December 7, Republic Records will be taking over with a surprise performance. Drake, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Lorde, and Post Malone are all signed to Republic, so the surprise could be a big one. Friday, December 7, at the Confidante, 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-424-1234; hyatt.com. By invitation only.
click to enlarge SsingSsing - COURTESY OF RHYTHM FOUNDATION
SsingSsing
Courtesy of Rhythm Foundation
SsingSsing. The Rhythm Foundation might be the only local promoter still getting in the spirit of Basels past by booking a quirky, nontraditional act. SsingSsing blends rock with traditional Korean folk and tops it all off with gender-bending looks. If you need a primer on the band's sound, check out SsingSsing's appearance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. 8 p.m. Friday, December 7, at Emerson Dorsch, 5900 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-1278; emersondorsch.com. Admission is free with RSVP via rhythmfoundation.com.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY WALTER WLODARCZYK
Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk
Art Basel Distraction, with Derrick Baseck, Plastic Ivy, Poncili Creacion, Slack, and others. Expect Mana Contemporary's home at the 777 International Mall, a beautifully tacky arcade from downtown's former life, to be Art Week central for experimental performances and programming. Vidium is bringing back its Art Basel Distraction for an eighth edition, self-described as the "ultimate Art Week experience." Expect performances by modular synth fanatic Derrick Baseck, minimalist Plastic Ivy, and the frenetic Slack. Also on the bill is Mariachi Gran Rey, promising a mariachi tribute to Cher and Madonna. 10 p.m. Saturday, December 8, at Mana Contemporary, 145 E. Flagler St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manacontemporarymiami.com. Admission is free.
click to enlarge Boys Noize - PHOTO BY GLEN HAN
Boys Noize
Photo by Glen Han
Boys Noize and Friends. Because the number of free parties during Miami Art Week is seemingly on the decline, it's refreshing to see German DJ/producer Boys Noize return to 1-800-Lucky to spin for the masses — and all you have to do is RSVP. On any given night, 1-800-Lucky is beyond packed, so arrive early or you'll be forced to listen to Alex Ridha's set from the street. 11 p.m. Saturday, December 8, at 1-800-Lucky, 143 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-768-9826; 1800lucky.com. Admission is free with RSVP at boysnoizefriends.splashthat.com.
click to enlarge A-Trak - COURTESY OF SACKS & CO.
A-Trak
Courtesy of Sacks & Co.
Fool’s Gold Day Off, with A-Trak B2B Mannie Fresh, Valee, Jubilee, and others. It's been a minute since Fool's Gold Records brought its Day Off to Miami. The last time was in 2015, before moving to Fort Lauderdale the following year and then disappearing altogether. The wait will finally be over when the label takes over the lot behind Coyo Taco, with Fool's Gold founder A-Trak leading the way. 9 p.m. Saturday, December 8, at Coyo Taco, 2300 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-8228; coyo-taco.com. Tickets cost $10 to $15 via eventbrite.com.
click to enlarge Rakastella - PHOTO BY TASYA
Rakastella
Photo by Tasya
Rakastella, with Apparat, Red Axes, Trikk, DJ Harvey, DJ Tennis, and others. Want to get as far away from the crowds as possible but don't want to leave Miami? Innervisions and Life & Death will hold their Rakastella event once again on Virginia Key (yes, the future home of Ultra Music Festival). With three stages and the promise of "immersive sensory experiences," the party starts Saturday afternoon and goes until 7 a.m. Sunday. You won't miss the art. 3 p.m. Saturday, December 8, in Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; 305-960-4600; virginiakeybeachpark.net. Tickets cost $90 to $150 via eventbrite.com.
click to enlarge Questlove - COURTESY OF WORKSHOP
Questlove
Courtesy of Workshop
Questlove (DJ set). Beloved by locals and tucked in an area of town still unknown to most tourists, the Anderson will probably act as a refuge for Miamians looking to party but not necessarily be in the thick of Basel. The 79th Street bar will thank its loyal patrons via a DJ set by Roots frontman Questlove. Best of all: It's free. 10 p.m. Saturday, December 8, at the Anderson, 709 NE 79th St., Miami; 305-757-3368; theandersonmiami.com. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran