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III Points Festival
Photograph: Jason Koerner

The best spring events in Miami, from festivals to comedy and more

Mark these best spring events in Miami in your calendar right now—or prepare for some serious FOMO

Falyn Wood
Written by
Falyn Wood
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UPDATE: Calle Ocho Festival, Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival have been cancelled due to coronavirus. Other events on this list may be affected by these cancellations—if you're unsure, please call ahead to confirm.

Between winter and spring, your free time in Miami is pretty much nonexistent—there’s just so much to do. Spring events in Miami bring their share of outdoor concerts, including some in South Beach and Fort Lauderdale, festivals at every turn and the mother of all music events: Ultra Music Festival. We know it’s a lot to take in (especially if you’re booking hotels in Miami or sorting out your Miami Beach Airbnb situation), so we’ve outlined it for you below. 

Spring events in Miami

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Ultra Music Festival is still the biggest music event in Miami and Ultra 2020 should be as big as ever. After a somewhat disastrous move to Virginia Key Beach Park last year, the festival makes a triumphant return to its decade-long home at Bayfront Park. Like previous years, Ultra 2020 provides three days of dance music spread across multiple stages with headliners like Flume, Gesaffelstein, Major Lazer and Zedd, among others.

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Picture a battalion of gourmet chefs cooking the fattest, most succulent pigs known to man, sommeliers pairing delectable dishes with fine wines and teams competing in a swine showdown to see who will be crowned the Prince or Princess of Pork. All of that and more is going down at this 11th annual extravaganza, and it’s going to be delicious.

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In today’s pop music landscape, where every song is saturated with auto-tune, it’s actually remarkable to hear how minimal the effects are on Cher’s “Believe.” Even more remarkable: how awesome Cher is on Twitter, regularly telling the president to put a sock in it and delivering other utterly kooky posts. Her vocals may sound a bit robotic, but her tweets prove that she’s 100 percent human.

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Miami plays host to the only annual flamenco festival outside of New York City, and it features dancers directly from Spain. This year, María Pagés from the flamenco vanguard takes audiences on a distinctly feminine adventure that offers a new perspective on what real women feel and live.

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Race over the county line to Gulfstream Park to see the world’s top thoroughbred horses compete on the road to the Kentucky Derby. Just try not to lose all your money while you’re there.

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Our annual star-studded tennis tournament returns to its flashy new home at Hard Rock Stadium. Expect the same sporty-chic crowds and luxe activations, including private cabana suites and glittering champagne gardens. Oh, yeah, and ripping tennis matchups.

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Pioneers of Latin rock Soda Stereo hit the AAA as part of their farewell tour. The band promises to honor late frontman and guitarist Gustavo Cerati, who passed away in 2014. It’s been over a decade since they last performed in Miami, and only four cities comprise the stateside leg of the tour—see them while you can.

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Feast on all sorts of grilled, smoked and sauce-slathered dishes from South Florida restaurants while exploring Fruit and Spice Park’s 37 acres of lush paradise. There will be live blues bands and a classic car show for the adults and pony rides to keep the kids entertained.

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Miami Beach Gay Pride marks its 12th anniversary with an extended nine-day celebration, a sprawling village featuring free live music performances at Lummus Park and, of course, the grand finale parade. The party takes over Ocean Drive and surrounding areas, but you can find Pride activations all around the city, from the beach to the mainland, throughout the week. Locations vary

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This epic three-day fest across the county line was created to generate awareness and raise funds for ocean conservation while pandering to Floridians’ natural instinct to strip down in front of large crowds. If you love country music and cold beer, the Tortuga Music Festival is for you. It’s the Ultra Music Festival of country music, and it happens right on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach. This year, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw headline, with wild cards like Pitbull and Barenaked Ladies thrown in for good measure.

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Think you’ve got what it takes to tackle this grueling endurance challenge that traverses oceans and bridges before finishing on the white sands of South Beach? No? Well, pull up a chair and watch from the sidelines as athletes fight to the finish.

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Sudanese artists are at the forefront of AfroRoots this April. Community Arts & Culture and the Rhythm Foundation have come together to bring Sinkane and singer-songwriter Alsarah & the Nubatones to the North Beach Bandshell. Sinkane’s colorful background includes playing with Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal.

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Don your finest neon for the second annual NostalgiaCon in Wynwood. This ode to all things ’80s includes nods to movies, TV (Miami Vice, anyone?), fashion, sports, video games and music. California’s iteration included appearances by Sean Astin, the Sugarhill Gang and Christopher Lloyd.

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Formerly known as the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, OUTShine returns for 10 days this April, screening dozens of films around town. The internationally acclaimed event is one of the largest LGBTQ+ cultural arts events in South Florida, spanning comedies, romances, musicals, thrillers and more plus parties, panels and special programming. Locations vary

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This Miami-born music, art and tech festival in the heart of Wynwood serves up oodles of trippy, immersive installations and tropical-goth fashion alongside a cutting-edge lineup of indie, electronic and hip-hop heroes. If you’re more a creature of the night than starry-eyed day-tripper, look no further than III Points: The gates open daily at 5pm and don’t close till 12 hours later. Despite lobbing off a day from the program compared to last year, III Points’ curation continues to impress,  with headliners the Strokes, Robyn, Wu-Tang Clan and Disclosure slated for 2020. 

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You’ve heard of Ultra but did you know that Miami is also home to one of the biggest hip-hop festivals in the freaking world? Don’t ask us how they did it but in just a handful of years, Rolling Loud has amassed a three-day lineup of just about every single rapper we can think of. Some of the biggest names to grace past Rolling Loud stages include Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Future and Lil Wayne. This year, A$AP Rocky, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion and dozens more pile into Hard Rock Stadium for three days of lit hip-hop mayhem.   

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Loads of comics, cosplay, anime characters and movie actors descend upon South Beach for Florida SuperCon this May. Expert panels, exclusive releases, screenings and celebrity meet-and-greets are all on the menu at this annual event. Past editions have included appearances by the stars of Mulan, Mr. Robot and more.

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With his extended Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, Sir Elton says a final goodbye to life on the road. That’s right, this could very well be your final chance to catch the rollicking song man live and in person as he takes yet another victory lap on his dazzling 50-year career.

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Icelandic indie-folk group Of Monsters and Men hit Billboard’s No. 1 with the anthemic “Little Talks” and released its first album in nearly five years over summer 2019 (check out the percussion-packed single, “Alligator”). The Fillmore hosts their anticipated South Floridian tour stop.

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A five-member Latino boy band, CNCO sold out a surprise show at the Wynwood Yard (RIP) last year. Now, they’re leveling up with the Press Start tour. With hits like “Hey DJ” and “Pegao,” choreographed moves and boyish good looks, it’s all but guaranteed to fill the AAA with hoards of screaming girls.

Need a breather? Partake in our favorite spring activity: outdoor drinking.

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