Narrowing down your list of Art Basel Miami events is intimidating. Where to start? It seems like every building with electricity is hosting some secret, immersive installation where Diplo may or may not show up. How many Diplos even are there? But, here’s the thing you learn after a couple years worth of Art Basel: you don’t have to do it all. The people having the most fun at Miami Art Week aren’t the ones attending every party at the best clubs in Miami or showing face at every music venue in Miami. Those people have lost their minds by Tuesday. No, the folks having the best time are the ones who’ve picked the right Art Basel parties and events. Quality over quantity. You know the deal. So we are not suggesting you visit every one of these events—unless you, like, own a helicopter. We want you to use this list to help guide you through Art Basel Miami 2019’s best things to do outside of the art fairs. Choose wisely and check back frequently, since we’ll be adding to this list throughout the month.
RECOMMENDED: Your guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2019
Art Basel Miami 2019 events
“One of Everything” by local artist Jessy Nite is an incredible custom installation debuting at Time Out Market Miami on December 2. Sprawled across nearly 90 storefront windows, the stained-glass–style work features geometric designs of swirling oysters, vibrant veggies and more kaleidoscopic foods. It’s bright, it’s specific and we promise it’ll make you hungry. Check out the brilliant work now through January 5.
From sunrise to sunset, an on-the-beach tent at Miami’s hip new Arlo outpost will be decked out in luxe lounge decor and lush tropical foliage all serving to backdrop a lineup of DJs, celeb hosts and late-night performance art handpicked by naughty live theater pros The Box. Inside the hotel, sexy speakeasy Blind Barber will transform into a haven for creative wanderers with its own nightly programming. Nautilus by Arlo, 1825 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (arlohotels.com/nautilus-miami-beach); Dec 3–7 at various times; free.
Grimes, Nina Kraviz and Sophie headline what’s sure to be one of the buzziest Art Basel events of the year. The three powerhouses of left-field electronic pop music have joined forces with Miami’s edgy festival producer III Points to throw a mysterious warehouse party toting the “well-proven anti-aging properties of raving.” Expect a rejuvenating dose of dancing plus a few wild surprises—this is Art Basel, after all.
Ten years ago, the Goldman family bought a bunch of warehouses in a rough neighborhood and thought, Hey, outdoor canvases! Okay, that’s the TL;DR. For the whole story, pick up Walls of Change: The Story of the Wynwood Walls, a recently released book that details the formation of what has become one of Miami’s most pathbreaking art projects. Two new shows also commemorate the anniversary: Comprising Wynwood Walls’ core crew of artists, a retrospective features works created especially for the occasion, and a solo outing from Shepard Fairey (best known for the Obama “Hope” poster) serves as the last stop on his “Facing the Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent” tour, which documents his 30-year career. Stop in on Wednesday for the grand opening of the Wynwood Walls shop block party, plus artist talks and other free programing.
CODE returns to Wynwood for a second year, this time moving from its original home in the 200-person capacity speakeasy bar at Coyo Taco to the expansive garden patio at 1-800-Lucky. Masterminded by Dubfire, the hardworking techno DJ who recently played a record-breaking 26.5-hour set at Romania’s Sunwaves Festival, CODE brings together DJs from across the dance music spectrum for a nonstop, back-to-back musical journey that will start deep and left-field and end in a banging techno rave.
Sultry and haunting indie-electronic project Rhye is helmed by Canadian vocalist Mike Milosh, whose yearning, Sade-inspired vocals and organic-synthetic hybrid R&B sound only intensify his hyper-mysterious public persona. Presented by Poplife, Rhye comes to Miami this Art Basel for an intimate performance under the stars.
Surely a shop designed by John Margaritis of NY art collective New York Sunshine, whose creativity led to a massive in-store basketball court, would have something special planned for its big debut during Art Basel. UNKNWN hosts a string of opening events, including special drops of collabs with the likes of Bape, Just Don and Chinatown Market, plus special releases with brands such as Nike. BornxRaised x UNKNWN close out the weekend with a party on Sunday night. Keep an eye out for surprise guests all weekend, too. After all, LeBron James, Jaron Kanfer and Frankie Walker Jr. are behind the much-hyped endeavor. 261 NW 26th St, Thu–Sun; free.
Black Rock City might be 3,000 miles away, but Miami makes a fitting home for this Burning Man-born immersive art installation coming to Magic City Innovation District during Art Week 2019. Dance beneath a giant fluffy cloud as its lights pulse to the beat of DJs and live sound experiences. Comprised of 60,000 watts of ultra-HD sound and 33,000 individually addressable LEDs, the hand-crafted Cloud seeks to reinvent the concert experience for this special off-Playa event. Base Camp at Magic City Innovation District, 298 NE 61st St (thefluffycloud.org); Dec 5–8; prices and times vary
This high-profile lecture raising funds for the Black Rock foundation brings together star artist Kehinde Wiley (famed for his Obama portrait) and acclaimed music producer and art collector Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz) for a lively discussion on activism, philanthropy and how to make it in today’s art world. Shell out for VIP tickets to gain access to a pre-show champagne reception and a star-studded afterparty on the New World Center rooftop. New World Center, 500 17th St, Miami Beach (creativemindstalks.com); Dec 2 at 7pm; $125 to $1,250.
The second annual Faena Festival, titled “The Last Supper,” strives to awakensouls (and appetites) by examining the link between spirituality, ritual and food in newlycommissioned works. Chinese artist Zhang Huan presents Miami Buddha, which features two statues sitting face to face; and Myrlande Constant, who’s known for making Haitian vodou flags, displays her largest one to date in the main lobby of the Faena Hotel.
Miami Art Week is as much about fashion as it is about art. The two converge at the Levi’s Haus pop-up, featuring limited-edition drops of the heritage brand and IRL experiences of its all-new Future Finish technology. Available previously online exclusively, the process uses lasers to give customers the change to design their own denim by adding patterns like camou and customizing the shade. Design workshops led by artists such as Shepard Fairey and Gianni Lee take place all weekend. That’s the move if you want to take home a truly exceptional pair. 2700 NW Second Ave. Thu–Sun at various hours; free.
Club Space shifts your Art Basel warmup into gear with a night of hard-hitting techno from influential minimal music exponent DJ Richie Hawtin plus Testpilot, Rinzen and more special guests. Club Space, 34 NE 11th Ter, (clubspace.com). Dec 6 at 11pm; $15 to $80.
For those who like their art with a side of chilled-out, exceptionally danceable disco and house music: Crew Love’s sixth annual Art Basel soiree brings the gang back to Miami with sets from Soul Clap, Wolf + Lamb and Morgan, plus live performances by Life on Planets and Pony. Location TBA
This four-day mixology, tech and culinary arts utopia takes over the sprawling Wynwood Marketplace and wants to serve as your gateway to Miami Art Week. At the heart of the festivities is the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Garden, a chic lounge area for photo ops, pop-up activations, sunset DJ sets and an abundance of bubbly. Enjoy edible works of art at the HIVE Culinary Pavilion and dance the night away at Heineken House, a temporary late-night mega-club complete with immersive video displays, laser shows and DJs. Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW 2nd Ave (wynwood-marketplace.com); Dec 5–8 at various times; free.
The lush and laidback patio bar Broken Shaker at the Freehand celebrates Basel with a free party curated by a Los Angeles-based favorite. Vibes & Tings brings DJs Walshy Fire, Tiger, Shacia Payne, Kyle Desouza and g33zy for a chilled-out Saturday pool party featuring colorful pop and graffiti works by Palm Springs artist Tyson Knight. Broken Shaker, 2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami Beach (freehandhotels.com/miami/broken-shaker). Dec 7 at 2pm; free with RSVP.
Back for its seventh edition, Basel House fuses art, nightlife and fun activations over the course of a weekend. Check out 30 thousand square-feet of large-scale murals and projection-mapped installations, shop a series of local pop-ups and get your b-boy on at the Monster Compound featuring a BMX vert team, breakdancers, live graffiti and more. Expect plenty of music, cocktails and food to keep you fueled.
Some of the biggest stars in the electronic dance music universe are set to grace the decks at the iconic Space terrace. Prepare for a rave marathon with funky, deep and dirty tunes from DJs Marco Carola, Loco Dice, Nic Fanciulli and Joey Daniel, with support by resident DJs. Club Space, 34 NE 11th Ter, (clubspace.com). Dec 6 at 11pm; $20 to $80.
Local underground house and techno promoters Un_Mute take over FunDimension, a sprawling arcade and bar in the heart of Wynwood, for their annual Art Basel showcase. Tickets to the party include two rooms of music where DJs tINI, Francesco Del Garda and Unai Trotti will take turns setting the vibe as you level up on unlimited games, climb the rock wall, navigate the Pac Man maze, smash bumper cars—and of course, dance your butt off.
Wall, the upscale, flashy nightclub inside the W South Beach, brings an Art Week line-up catering to the high-heeled, bottle service crowd. The partying kicks of Tuesday with DJ sets from minimal techno and deep house masters Damian Lazarus and Art Department. Later in the week, enjoy even more over-the-top fun with music by Chilean-Swiss DJ/producer Luciano (Dec 5) and socialite-turned-DJ Paris Hilton (Dec 6). Wall Lounge, 2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (wallmiami.com); dates and prices vary
Wynwood’s Cake Gallery is back for a second year to deliver four days of art-fuelled partying. A classic gallery by day with works by Junk Yard, Third Eye Assembly and Balloonski LA, among others, the warehouse space transforms by night with live music programming that includes performances with visuals by FvckRender and Victor Mosquera, Dirtybird Records’ Walker & Royce and more TBA. The CAKE Gallery, 2060 NW 1st Ave (instagram.com/cake.original). Dec 5–8 at 2pm; $0 to $75.
Party on the rooftop at the French Moroccan-themed Art Deco hotel Dream South Beach. Hosted by Jossua Parini of Creative Glue, the event will feature new pieces from the Jason Perez Art Collective, a live performance from Ben Moon and an interactive digital mural that guests can interact with by tagging visual content using #BaselDream, which will then become a part of the projection-mapped installation at the event. Dream South Beach, 1111 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (dreamhotels.com/southbeach). Dec 5 at 4pm; $15 to $30.
Helmed by a team of professional ravers from coast to coast including LA-based Future Primitive, Burning Man’s La Grange and local selectors Soundtuary, this year’s Rumors Art Basel party with Israeli DJ Guy Gerber kicks off during sunset at the waterfront bar The Deck at Island Gardens and continues until midnight for seven hours of dancing under the stars.
Diplo and Idris Elba headline the massive week of parties going down at Basement catering to the fashionable Art Week crowd. On Saturday night, the Mad Decent label head and the English actor/DJ/rapper extraordinaire, respectively, team up for a night that is bound to get hyphy. Basement Miami, 2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (basementmiami.com). Dec 3–7; various times and prices.
Brace for another immersive art experience this Basel—one that’s built for adults and probably NSFW (some parts of it at least). The Art Plug Power House spans eight indoor and outdoor attractions, where you’ll encounter 25 art installations, over 50 artists, live extreme sports performances, concerts by Atlantic Records artists, plus 14 food vendors and four bars all in the heart of the burgeoning Little River district.
Take part in six days of thought-provoking discussions, panels and exhibitions intended to spark conversations about today’s most challenging topics. One of the most provocative events takes place on December 4 during a special panel called “Rethinking Masculinity: Disrupting Art’s Patriarchal Legacy in the #MeToo Era,” featuring an all-male panel getting real on topics of masculinity and men’s roles in the arts. 196 NW 24th St. Dec 3–Dec 8; free.
In keeping with its trendy, boutique feel, the Kimpton Surfcomber has teamed up with acclaimed local artist Gustavo Oviedo to curate an Art Basel offering that pays homage to its home by showcasing the works of more than 25 Miami artists and designers. To peep the immersive, eco-focused art (on view throughout the week) and mingle with the local scene, pop over during the free opening party, featuring fashion exhibits, pop-up shops, art performances, live mannequins and organic and vegetarian food and wine. Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, 1717 Collins Ave, Miami Beach (surfcomber.com); Dec 4 at 5pm; free
Rockwell partners with notoriously-impossible-to-get-into NYC club 1OAK yet again for Art Basel 2019. You can expect a whole bunch of buzzy names and celebs ending the night here throughout the weekend. Think you can get past the doorman? We like your confidence.
Heart Nightclub—a fleeting bastion of live techno, house and electronic performances in Downtown Miami—closed its doors Spring 2018. This December, just in time for Art Basel, Heart rises from the ashes in its evolved form, as a two-day, 63-act, genre-bending festival housed in the expansive Wynwood Factory. Techno stars the Martinez Brothers, Sasha & John Digweed, Damian Lazarus, Cassy and Bedouin top the bill, but expect emerging underground talent as well, from house DJs to live electronic performances, playing across four stages.
During a week when art selfies and FOMO reach ridiculous heights in Miami, this phone-free party encourages guests to disconnect, let their down their guard and live in the moment. Devices will be stowed away in pouches upon arrival so you can truly dance like no one’s watching. 1-800-Lucky, 143 NW 23rd St (1800lucky.com); Dec 7 at 11pm; $0 to $20.
Three innovative Burning Man camps comprised of resourceful party people from around the globe join forces for a second year during Art Basel to create this party designed to transport guests to the Playa. Helmed by the Kazbah, Galactic Jungle and Monkey Love crews, Pyramid People boasts three immersive stages across a completely transformed indoor/outdoor space staging live music, DJs and art-making plus vendors peddling all the necessary wares to get you prepped for Burning Man 2020. Lemon City Studios, 261 NE 73rd St (lemoncitystudios.co); Dec 5 at 10pm; $49.50 to $108.
Stylish rooftop watering hole No. 3 Social welcomes the Essential crew for a night of dancing under the stars, featuring the deep and sexy sounds of San Francisco’s Miguel Migs, plus Miami house legend Jay -J and Joi Cardwell, who will provide live vocals and has lent her voice to a few well known house music classics including "Club Lonely" and "Saved My Life." No. 3 Social, 50 NW 24th St (no3social.com); Dec 7 at 8pm; $15 to $780.
For the fifth year, the Miami Design District has commissioned an artist to create a major public piece. This year, things are getting seriously hairy with Fernando Laposse’s Pink Beasts. The Mexican designer has created a trail of shimmying rosy tassels that are suspended throughout the neighborhood. Get a closer look to spot the hammocks—conceived in collaboration with textile designer Angela Damman—and the adorable sloths, constructed from agave fibers that were dyed with an insect-derived hue and sustainably woven by Mayan women. Miami Design District
Create & Cultivate, the digital platform championing female entrepreneurs, returns to Miami for its annual Vision Summit. Timed during Miami Art Week, the full-day event brings together visionaries from the worlds of food, fashion, art, tech and beyond for a series of intimate conversations and presentations tailored to enlighten and inform local creatives. This year’s expert panelists and speakers include beauty entrepreneur Josie Maran, model Karolina Kurkova, local fashion blogger Kelly Saks and a slew of other well-known influencers. Lunch, snacks and all kinds of self-care treatments will be provided between sessions.
Mysteriously masked German DJ duo Claptone hosts an outdoor, sunset masquerade party at RC Cola Plant in Wynwood. Expect their signature crisp, infectiously danceable tech-house tunes in addition to special guest DJs Duke Dumont and Todd Terry at this 18 and up event.
Saint-Tropez-style cabanas and a glitzy marina lounge all serve as the backdrop for this open-air, multi-level sensory experience from dreamy party throwers Soundtuary and house music aficionados Flying Circus. Expect a psychedelic, day-to night melding of music and performance art with DJs Audiofly, YokoO, Jan Blomqvist (live set), Maga and Apache, all overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. The Deck at Island Gardens, 888 MacArthur Causeway (thesoundtuary.com); Dec 7 at 4pm; $25 to $75.
Any true dance music fan should be drooling over any sort of collaboration between the wonderful labels Life and Death and Innervisions. The two dance music powerhouses take over Virginia Key Beach Park once again this year for their Rakastella party. The roster of DJs includes Ben UFO, Aurora Halal, John Talabot, Dixon, Âme and more. Pace yourself, though. The party doesn’t stop until 7am the next day.
French artist Claude Lalanne and her husband and collaborator François-Xavier Lalanne, known together as Le Lalanne, were famed for going against the abstract trend of the 1960s with their fantastical sculptures exploring themes of nature and the living. For the grand reopening of its lush gardens, the historic Raleigh Hotel has collaborated with real estate developer and Lalanne collector Michael Shvo to curate a free and open to the public exhibition showcasing the artists' works, with over 39 pieces nestled among a half-acre of tropical gardens designed by architect Peter Marino and high profile Miami landscape designer Raymond Jungles.
Is it hot in here, or is it just Best Life Festival closing out Art Basel week? The annual R&B rager returns to Wynwood on Sunday with smooth and sensual headliners DVSN, Kiana Lede, Emotional Oranges and SiR doing their damndest to make partiers feel some type of way.
When it comes time to blow the top off of Art Basel week, look for whatever Ibiza’s legendary Circoloco crew is getting into. This year, they’ve brought on DJs Seth Troxler, the Black Madonna and Damian Lazarus to top the bill at a massive Art Basel closing party on the open air terrace at Club Space.
At this official Art Basel event, guests enjoy gratis breakfast and an enlightening presentation from internationally acclaimed sculptor and photographer Petah Coyne. Known for creating elaborately detailed wax, silk and taxidermy assemblages that hang from ceilings and erupt from the floor, Coyne’s lecture is followed by guided tours of Frost Art’s Sculpture Park and exhibitions.