Your expert guide to the best Art Basel Miami events 2018

It’s never too early to plan for the best 2018 Art Basel Miami events and events. You’ll thank us later.
Maison St-Germain at Faena Hotel
Photograph: Benjamin Lozovsky
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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 2018’s best things to do outside of the art fairs. Choose wisely.

RECOMMENDED: Your guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2018

Art Basel Miami 2018 events

1
Rakastella
Photograph: Unreal Rebecca
Things to do, Concerts

Rakastella

Any true dance music fan should be drooling over a 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 Âme, DJ Tennis, Dixon, DJ Harvey, Job Jobse, Apparat and many more. Pace yourself, though. The party doesn’t stop until 7am the next day.

2
Action Bronson
Photograph: Tom Gould
Things to do, Concerts

Blnk Cnvs Presents

The Bank Cnvs Art Basel concert lineup is, in our opinion, pretty darn good. It’s all happening at Wynwood’s Soho Studios. Things start on a very high note on Wednesday with the endearing South African maniacs known as Die Antwoord. Then it’s on to everyone’s favorite rapping stoner foodie Action Bronson on Thursday, followed by Chicago’s own Juice Wrld on Friday. Things end on Saturday with Kaskade, J Worra, Lokii and Charles Meyer.

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3
Create & Cultivate
Photograph: Smith House Photo
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Create & Cultivate Vision Summit

Create & Cultivate, the digital platform championing female entrepreneurs, throws its first-ever summit in South Beach this fall. The event brings together visionaries from the worlds of food, fashion, art, tech and beyond for a series of intimate conversations and presentations. Inspiring women such as actress Jamie Chung, Rent the Runway founder Jenn Hyman and CEO of Disfunkshion Magazine Hugette Montesinos lead panels and insightful discussions as part of the scheduled programming, which also includes a beauty bar and happy hour.

4
RAW POP UP - Art Basel
Photograph: Virginia Gil
Things to do, Exhibitions

RAW POP UP / Art Basel 2018

The multisensory, interactive RAW POP UP activates in the former Burdine’s building, turning the department store into a multilevel, retail-themed experience. More than 80 creators from around the world produce site-specific works and performances designed to evoke feelings of nostalgia and question our modern values. It all comes to a head in ALT_Future, a dystopian nightclub featuring live performances, DJs and several surprises. (1 SW 1st St)

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5
Erick Morillo at Club Space
Photograph: Dan Vidal
Things to do, Concerts

Ninja Tune Art Basel

English indie label Ninja Tune has never done a showcase in Miami before, which is a bummer for fans of its impressive roster of acts including Bonobo, Little Dragon, Kamasi Washington and more. Thankfully that changes this Art Basel, when Ninja Tune takes over Club Space’s first-floor venue, the Ground, for what’s sure to be a hell of a night. Lineup to come soon!

6
Sleeping Beauty Dreams
Photograph: Courtesy Magic Reality Group
Things to do, Performances

Sleeping Beauty Dreams

The Brothers Grimm’s sweet 19th-century fairytale gets thrust into 2018, complete with an EDM soundtrack and virtual cast of bendy avatars that perform alongside ethereal ballerinas. Sleeping Beauty Dreams fuses contemporary ballet with elements of tech and performance art that pull audiences into a multidimensional, storytelling experience.

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7
Art Plug Powerhouse
Photograph: Courtesy Art Plug Powerhouse
Things to do, Event spaces

The Art Plug Power House

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 several blocks, where you’ll encounter a High Hemp Smoke + Mirrors installation plus more than 30 interactive activations, monster truck and motorbike shows, the Art Plug + Monsieur Marcel collab pop-up and an exhibition by Marcel Katz Art. More than 20 artists are expected to participate in this abandoned impound-turned-gallery. 1440 NW 21St

8
Wynwood Walls: Beyond Words
Photograph: Courtesy Goldman Properties
Things to do, Exhibitions

“Beyond Words” at the Wynwood Walls

Goldman Properties’ Wynwood Walls debuts nine installations that underscore 2018’s theme, "Beyond Words," suggesting the power of visual arts to communicate beyond language. International artists such as AShop Crew from Canada, DEIH from Spain and KOBRA from Brazil will take part in creating the new exhibition, which for the first time includes a GGA Gallery Solo Show by Portuguese carving artist Vhils. The walls go up on December 3 and will be on view to the public through Art Basel 2019. 

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9
The Dean Collection X Bacardi Present No Commission: Shanghai - Day 2
Photograph: Lintao Zhang
Things to do, Exhibitions

Bacardí and the Dean Collection Present No Commission

Bacardí and Dean Collection’s No Commission brings music, art and rum together for some seriously unforgettable moments. Previous Basel No Commission events have seen some amazing art alongside live performances from Alicia Keys, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B and more. This year, the Swizz Beatz-hosted event heads to the Faena Forum. The names of this year’s performers are being kept quiet but the gallery (which is worth a visit) is free and open to the public. 

10
Maison St-Germain at Faena Hotel
Photograph: Benjamin Lozovsky
Things to do, Exhibitions

Maison St-Germain at the Faena Hotel

Maison St-Germain takes over the Faena Hotel’s Mammoth Garden for the second year in a row, this time in collaboration with Marla Weinhoff. See the iconic prehistoric figure light up as part of an enchanting floral installation, featuring a ballet performance by Sensia dancers and free nightly St-Germain spritzes at 10pm. 

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11
Rockwell
Photograph: Courtesy Rockwell
Nightlife, Nightlife

Rockwell and 1OAK Pop-up

Rockwell partners with notoriously-impossible-to-get-into NYC club 1OAK yet again for Art Basel 2018. 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. 

12
Darker Gods
Photograph: Johnny Golden
Things to do, Exhibitions

Darker Gods

Damon Davis’ exhibition, Darker Gods in The Garden of The Low Hanging Heavens, examines and challenges the West’s perception of blackness through powerful imagery that reimagines religious deities as people of color. The multimedia exhibit mixes sound, photography, film, illustration and written word. The work is on display Wednesday through Sunday, featuring live music and conversations with the artist as well as Dream Defenders cofounder Phil Agnew and Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors-Brignac. 6300 NW 2nd Ave

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13
SLS South Beach
Photograph: Courtesy SLS South Beach
Things to do, Concerts

Perfecto Basel with Paul Oakenfold

The legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold is getting his Basel on by bringing his Perfecto party to Hyde Beach just in time to kick off the weekend. Dance music fans certainly need no introduction to Mr. Oakenfold but if you happen to be unfamiliar, it’s worth stopping by to see one of the godfathers of the form do his thing.

14
Club
Photograph: Unsplash/Raphael Schaller
Things to do, Concerts

ZHU

The dynamic artist ZHU comes to town as part of the III Points Art Basel concert series—which has a proven record of putting on some of the best shows in town during Miami Art Week. ZHU takes over Wynwood’s RC Cola Plant, a perfect venue for the eclectic electronic artist who has been known to break out the saxophone to really get the dance floor moving. 

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15
Tenoversix x Henrik Vibskov
Photograph: Christian Larsen
Things to do, Exhibitions

Tenoversix x Henrik Vibskov

Leading up to Art Basel 2018, the hip MiMo concept store hosts a cool shop-in-shop from Scandinavian artist Henrik Vibskov. Fresh off Paris Men’s Fashion Week, where he was the only Scandinavian designer to show, Vibskov creates a unique and colorful retail experience inspired by his eclectic runway presentations.

16
Sofi Tukker
Photograph: Courtesy Fancy PR
Nightlife, Nightlife

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Finale

Bombay Sapphire’s annual bash (which celebrates the close of their Artisan Series arts competition) is one you can’t get into unless invited. If you are one of the lucky few to nab a spot on the guest list, expect peak Basel bougie-ness. This year’s party is hosted by the amazing Tessa Thompson and takes place at Villa Casa Casuarina (formally known as the Versace Mansion). The night’s music comes courtesy of a live performance by the bouncy New York duo Sofi Tukker.  

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17
Lee Burridge
Photograph: Courtesy DiskoLab
Things to do, Performances

DiskoLab x Delano Beach Club

Take a beat from the art fairs at Delano Beach Club, where music event producer DiskoLab has curated three days of performances, DJ sets and more. Daytime events happen poolside and feature acts such as Nick Monaco and Gad. At night, move into the intimate Doheny Room for shows by TIGA and Sofi Tukker. RSVP is required but this is Basel—getting past the doorman won’t be easy.

18
Elizabeth Turk, Breakfast in the Park
Photograph: Courtesy artist
Things to do, Exhibitions

Breakfast in the Park

At this official Art Basel event, guests enjoy gratis breakfast and an enlightening presentation from internationally acclaimed sculptor Elizabeth Turk. Known for creating intricate works of marble, Turk’s lecture is followed by guided tours of Frost Art’s Sculpture Park and exhibitions.

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19
Moore Building
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Knight Foundation
Things to do, Exhibitions

Pop Minimalism | Minimalist Pop

Art powerhouses Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch are behind this collaborative exhibition, which digs into the ‘60s art movements of pop art and minimalism. The art on display will include work from Andy Warhol, Peter Halley, Roy Lichtenstein and more. It’s all taking place at the breathtaking Moore Building in the Design District.

20
Stephen (Espo) Powers
Photograph: Matthew Kuborn
Things to do, Exhibitions

The University of the Arts in Philadelphia x National Hotel

At this free, large-scale exhibition inside the historic Art Deco property, top alumni from the renowned University of the Arts in Philadelphia showcase an array of works—from moving images and contemporary art to photography. Don’t miss Stephen “ESPO” Powers’ neon video installation on the hotel’s roof, Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib’s playful video projections and Deborah Willis’ photographic retrospective on beauty.

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21
Basel House
Photograph: Courtesy SWARM
Things to do, Event spaces

Basel House

Back for its sixth edition, Basel House fuses art, nightlife and fun activations over the course of a weekend. Check out 40 large-scale murals and installations, shop a series of local pop-ups and get your hands dirty in one numerous graffiti workshops offered throughout the event. Expect plenty of music, cocktails and food to keep you fueled.

22
HOMECOURT
Photograph: HOMECOURT
Things to do, Exhibitions

HOMECOURT’S “Inside the Arc”

An exhibit for basketball fans, HOMECOURT’S “Inside the Arc” presents a series of sports-themed works and features a live mural drawing by known graffiti artist Birdcap and Amin Zahiry. Be sure to test out your skills at the hoops installation. (2210 NW Miami Ct)

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23
The Art of Banksy
Photograph: Courtesy Steve Lazarides
Things to do, Exhibitions

The Art of Banksy

icon-location-pin The Factory at Magic City Studios, Little Haiti / Lemon City
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The elusive, London-based street artist gets some well-deserved mainstream attention when his traveling exhibit, “The Art of Banksy,” makes a stop in Miami. Premiering during Miami Art Week, the two-month engagement features 80 original works, including a print of 2002’s iconic Girl With Balloon. Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former agent, curates the mix-media exhibit.

24
AfriCOBRA
Photograph: Kavi Gupta
Things to do, Exhibitions

AfriCOBRA

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
icon-calendar

This Art Basel, MOCA presents 1960s artist collective AfriCOBRA (whose name stands for African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) in this momentous retrospective, celebrating the group’s 50th anniversary. See the brightly colored works of Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell and others that helped define the aesthetics of the Black Arts Movement. 

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25
SUPERFLEX: We Are All in the Same Boat
Photograph: Courtesy SUPERFLEX
Things to do, Exhibitions

SUPERFLEX: We Are All in the Same Boat

Danish collective SUPERFLEX makes light of the current global warming crisis through playful installations that touch on the economy, corruption and migration. If it sounds dark, it’s because it is—though only in subject matter. The subversive exhibition is humorous and thought-provoking, if not hopeful.

26
“LIBATIONS: FREE”
Photograph: Courtesy exhibitors
Things to do, Exhibitions

“LIBATIONS: FREE”

Brickell City Centre hosts a multisensory experience centered on “FREE!,” a large-scale fair comprising various multidisciplinary works that underscore the meaning of freedom. Created by Octavia Yearwood, together with Courvoisier, Silent Revolution and Spinello Projects, the activation takes place at a dining table layered with elements of the past, present and future.

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