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The Nine Weirdest Things to Ever Happen Inside LIV

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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.

Gettin after it with @jayayers @kamilhage @franknapoli

A photo posted by Dan Bilzerian (@danbilzerian) on

5. When Instagram douche king Dan Blizerian allegedly kicked a woman in the face. 

In December 2014, professional douchebag and likely Trump voter Dan Blizerian may or may not have kicked a woman in the face at LIV. After cell phone footage purporting to show Blizerian bringing down his foot on a female clubgoer at LIV emerged, it was reported that he was banned from the club for life. The following March, Miami Beach police announced that they would not be pursuing a case against Blizerian. According to a recent GQ profile, however, the alleged victim may still take legal action against Blizerian

4. When Joaquin Phoenix brought his insane performance art to LIV.

For reasons too numerous to list here, we sincerely wish that we could place actor Joaquin Phoenix’s rap performance and subsequent brawl at LIV within our top three. Sadly, there’s one blatant element that keep it out of the running: the fact that it was manufactured. Don’t get us wrong, watching a disheveled, probably pungent Phoenix stumble over bars and bragging about the $1 million in his bank account is a sight to behold unto itself. That being said, with the entire event having been staged in service of Phoenix’s misguided mockumentary I’m Still Here, it lacks the spontaneity and sincerity that makes the following entries — and indeed, LIV — so special.

3. The saga of Lil Wayne and Birdman. 

Some of history’s most beloved tales have concerned the torrid affairs of on-again, off-again lovers: Jane Eyre. (500) Days of Summer. Birdman & Lil Wayne? Although not lovers in the romantic sense (and also not fictional), few modern relationships have captured the hearts and minds of Americans in the manner the former Cash Money associates have managed to. No good love story is complete without a recurring setting, and LIV has obliged time and again to set the stage. Since Wayne’s initial tweets about the drama surrounding Tha Carter V’s release in late 2014, the conflict between the former mentor/mentee duo has resembled nothing less than a hip-hop Cold War. If there was an event that could qualify as this saga’s Cuban Missile Crisis, it would surely be when Birdman and his associates reportedly threw water bottles at Wayne during rapper Jim Jones’ birthday party at LIV. Conversely, a period of détente emerged this past January when Wayne and Birdman took to LIV’s stage together to publicly squash their beef. Even though relations between the two hip-hop titans have chilled once more since then, we’re still holding out hope for a future warm, tearful embrace tastefully juxtaposed against LIV’s shimmering ceiling.

2. When Diddy punched Drake outside LIV.

Since his meteoric rise in 2011 with Take Care, Canadian meme and occasional rapper Drake has generated more than his fair share of ridiculous headlines. Perhaps the most ridiculous came in 2014, when news broke that Drake was sent to the hospital following an altercation with P. Diddy outside of LIV. For the briefest of moments, it seemed as though Drake may have finally earned something approaching street cred. What could he have possibly done to earn the ire of Sean Puffy Combs Daddy, one of the most prominent figures in the violent East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the '90s? Other than acting upon a golden opportunity — in this case, a passed-over and incredibly dope beat — not much. In all fairness to Puff Daddy, if we felt that we had gotten screwed out of “0 to 100 / The Catch Up,” we’d be pretty pissed as well. Last week saw Drake reignite the beef with a number of not-so-subtle subliminals towards Diddy on his new track, “4PM in Calabasas." Until we read further developments elsewhere, we’ll be keeping our eye on the entrance to LIV.

1. When Cuba Gooding Jr. went full Jerry Maguire.

Many of LIV’s regulars are also the type to dominate the tabloids and command a legion of devoted followers. It’s these powerful few who have thrown drinks, unsavory slurs, and fisticuffs over the past eight years in the unacknowledged but widely understood battle for LIV infamy. Given the power players and stakes involved, one would think that a Kanye West or a Madonna would be behind LIV’s most ridiculous moment. Hell, maybe they’d be a Florida native, buoyed by all of the insanity and narcissism that entails (as a matter of fact, Ariana Grande would be an excellent contender). But, no — leave it to none other than Cuba Gooding, Jr. to come in and fuck things up for everybody else. A March 7 YouTube video titled “Cuba Gooding Jr Lit As Fuck At Club Liv Nightclub In Miami (Nigga Tried To Eat A Phone lol)” tells the story better than we ever could. Having long ago shed his shirt for the purpose of achieving dance nirvana, Gooding most certainly does get lit as fuck, and also comes dangerously close to eating someone’s phone.

Long live Cuba Gooding, Jr. Long live LIV.

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