Be honest with yourself, art fiends: There are only so many times you can see fluorescent lights stacked neatly in a pile until you want to pull your hair out. That's why this week's parties, afterparties, and after-afterparties are so necessary. They provide the alcohol and escapism from all the bad, confusing, and disturbing art you had to stare at all day.
No judgment, though — you're really coming to Miami to dance. If there's one thing the Magic City knows how to do better than the rest of the nation, it's party. Thanks to a copious number of nightclubs, lounges, bars, and pop-up event spaces, there's hardly any reason for you to call it a day after the tents close. In fact, don't be surprised if you end up walking straight from the clubs to the art fairs the following day. That's how you know you've won during the cacophony of Miami Art Week.
If you're going to do the week right, start out with Le Baron at FDR at the Delano (1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). As Art Basel's de facto VIP room, the Parisian import attracts throngs of revelers each night hoping to make it past the velvet ropes. Trying to get into Le Baron is half the fun, because the party doesn't hand out invites or accept RSVPs. Instead, bouncers look for a je ne sais quoi that can range from waif French models to Miami gutter punks.
The new Nautilus Hotel (1825 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) is hoping to give Le Baron some competition with its own pop-up nightclub, Never Never. The club is a New York favorite of A-listers looking to eschew the standard bottle service for the promise of a relaxed atmosphere and jukebox sounds. There's no word on who will stop by, but the mix of a new hotel and Basel guarantees you are bound to recognize a famous face or two. However, getting into Never Never is guaranteed to be easier said than done. Good luck.
Last year, Miami Beach Edition (2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) was the new hotel on the block. To celebrate its one-year milestone, Edition has packed its Basement nightclub with a party every night of the week. The best one will happen Thursday, December 3, when Giorgio Moroder returns to Miami for the first time since his DJ set at the Red Bull Guest House in 2014. There's no denying Moroder's strong ties to the city; after all, he's responsible for the soundtrack to Miami's finest cinematic moment, Scarface.
Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) keeps bringing art and music together. This year, it has paired up musician Devonté Hynes (AKA Blood Orange) and artist Ryan McNamara for a show dubbed Dimensions. Here's hoping Hynes' Miami experience is more pleasant than the story he told to Julian Casablancas about the time he was illegally arrested outside a Wynwood nightclub by racially biased cops. Unfortunately, if you want to witness Hynes and McNamara's collaboration, you'll have to be a member of the museum or a VIP cardholder for Art Basel, Design Miami, or Art Miami.
The Surf Lodge, the boutique hotel in Montauk, New York, is popping up at the Hall (1500 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) for a week's worth of exclusive parties. Snarkitecture, designer Jeremy Scott, and even street artist Shepard Fairey will host parties throughout the week. Friday, December 4, street artist and Le Baron founder André Saraiva will host a bash featuring a special performance by Maroon 5 bassist Mickey Madden. Like every great Basel party, it's invitation only, but that's never stopped anyone from attending.
Downtown hot spot Libertine (40 NE 11th St., Miami) is hosting an array of Basel events, but the standout is Spinello Projects' afterparty Saturday, December 5. Expect a DJ set by Nomi Ruiz of Hercules & Love Affair, but the best thing about the bash is that thanks to Libertine's 24-hour liquor license, you can keep drinking well past sunrise. That's partying Miami-style.