The Nine Weirdest Things to Ever Happen Inside LIV

In just a short period of time, LIV has become a near-unparalleled hegemonic force in Miami nightlife and culture. Since the club’s 2008 opening within the foundations of the Fontainebleau Hotel, LIV has grown considerably from operating solely as Miami’s premiere den of upper crust hedonism. As its world-famous clientele can attest to, LIV is an international destination, a safe place where your favorite rapper can wreck the dance floor while your most beloved basketball player indiscriminately burns through several hundred dollars’ worth of champagne.

But as anyone who has ever watched a VH1 Behind the Music documentary knows, it takes more than drug and drink-fueled debauchery to reach the top. Beyond the grit and moxie necessary to make it in the cutthroat Miami club scene, it also takes a fair bit of insanity. You don’t get to be consistently ranked as one of the world’s top clubs without offering something resembling an unforgettable experience.

And when people let loose and champagne flows, strange shit is likely to go down. Below, we have compiled the nine weirdest things to have ever happened at LIV. While some of these incidents have made us laugh and some have made us cringe, each has managed to make New Times drop our collective jaw and run to our keyboards. 
9. When Eric Butkiewicz gave Miami its most American mug shot ever. 

Ah, America: a wonderful place where citizens enjoy the privilege of choosing between a malleable corporate shill and a bigoted quasi-fascist to lead the country for the next four years. Isn’t it grand? We Americans have a proud tradition of annually celebrating our freedoms on our national day of independence, July 4. However, on July 4, 2012, one LIV attendee may have embraced America’s free market principles a bit too zealously. Clad in red, white and blue face paint demonstrating his love for the good ol’ US of A, then-31-year-old Eric Oram Butkiewicz was arrested by Miami Beach police for peddling Xanax during LIV’s fourth of July festivities. As detailed in the police report, Butkiewicz told officers the following: "I possibly have three Xanax bars in my possession." Ever the cunning entrepreneur, Butkiewicz actually had 13 in his possesion. For embodying both the proud patriotic ideals and adventurous spirit that have made our country great, we salute Butkiewicz for being the rebel we need, although perhaps not the one we deserve. (Miami New Times does not endorse the sale or consumption of illegal narcotics.)

8. When LIV decided to make a music video.

In the age of Instagram and Beyoncé’s “Flawless,” the value of knowing and displaying one’s self-worth has never been a more a prized trait in our society. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little vanity. After all, it’s commonly accepted that good self-esteem helps promote a good life. But then you get videos like “We LIV Every Night,” a music video assembled by LIV to celebrate the deluge of alcohol and titties (dear god, so many titties) that come with partying at LIV. Sometimes the very act of living in Miami can make one feel a bit inadequate, and videos as loud as “We LIV Every Night” aren’t quite helping the matter. You know something has gone awry when Ja Rule, an artist who gained notoriety for literally shouting his hooks and choruses, was able to pen a more subtle paean to living it up in his beloved single… “Livin’ It Up.”

7. When Calvin Harris went absolutely off on a heckler. 

As debates regarding Calvin Harris’ artistic integrity have waxed and waned, one thing that has remained constant is Harris’ absurdly large personal fortune. The Scottish DJ and hitmaker — who rakes in tens of millions on an annual basis by pandering to man’s most basic sonic instincts — is a LIV regular, having soundtracked several evenings in Miami’s most decadent club. Unfortunately for Harris, stupid huge amounts of money don’t automatically equate to success in the ears of all of his listeners. This became apparent in 2013 when a LIV patron implored Harris to play “something original.” Despite having countless wads of money with which to wipe away his tears and conceal his bruised ego, Harris instead opted to lash out, referring to the heckler in the process as a “dumb fucking bitch.” Yikes! After spitting on a particularly abrasive concertgoer, Pink Floyd co-vocalist and lyricist Roger Waters was able to sublimate the incident into his grandest conceptual work, 1979’s The Wall. Three years removed from his regrettable choice of words, we’re still waiting on Harris’ own angsty masterpiece.

6. When the UM football team decided to have a fashion show at LIV.

There are few things in this world we find as exciting as corporate synergy, except for maybe the release of new Marvel films or that glorious time of year when McDonald's trots out the McRib. So when the University of Miami and Adidas teamed up last July to throw a blowout bash at LIV in commemoration of their corporate sponsorship, well, shucks, we could hardly contain ourselves. We’re aware that it may seem odd for the University of Miami, a private research university, to have celebrated a lucrative deal in a venue that most of its attendees couldn’t legally enter. We also know that some of you may find it questionable that neither UM nor Adidas publicly disclosed the details of the 12-year apparel deal reportedly worth upwards of $90 million. What’s important to remember is that at the end of the day, such an agreement is meant only to do what’s best for the student body of UM at large, not just the school’s athletic department, or its myriad corporate sponsors, or its well-compensated coaches, or the thousands of Canes fans ready to drop mad money on the newest merchandise. Hey, at least we got a Pusha T and DJ Don Cannon double-bill out of the deal.

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Zach Schlein is the former arts and music editor for Miami New Times. Originally from Montville, New Jersey, he holds a BA in political science from the University of Florida and writes primarily about music, culture, and clubbing, with a healthy dose of politics whenever possible. He has been published in The Hill, Mixmag, Time Out Miami, and City Gazettes.
Contact: Zach Schlein