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10 Art Basel Parties You Can't Miss

Fade to Mind in a former pharmacy. Richie Hawtin at III Points. Jamie XX with Four Tet. And so much more...
December 1, 2015, 12:15am
Photo via Ian Witlen/Red Bull

In recent years, Art Week, more commonly celebrated as the beach-side fair Art Basel Miami, has emerged as the city's second most heated week-long party bash. (Coming only after the yearly shitshow that is Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week.) The stateside edition of Art Basel, which runs December 3-6, draws about 75,000 visitors to Miami, filling its streets with expensive art, headache-inducing traffic, and of course, tons of sweet dance parties. It's a tough week to survive, but towards that end, we've done the groundwork for you by whittling down the schedule to these ten stellar party opps. Because no one should have to suffer drinking expensive cocktails in a hotel lobby—when you could be at a Fade to Mind party in an old converted pharmacy. Party on, Garth.

1. Life and Death Showcase

Photo via Facebook

When: Thursday, December 3

Location: Mana Wynwyood, 318 NW 23 St., Wynwood


Headliners: Tale Of Us, Mind Against, Thugfucker, and special guest Richie Hawtin

What's the Deal: III Points is a three-day music, art, and technology fest in early October that's proven itself as a game-changer for the Wynwood Arts District and Miami's local underground. Last year, the fest broke into the Basel game with performances from James Blake, FKA Twigs, and more. This year, it plans a bigger Basel return with three days of programming in partnership with Pl0t and LAD. Thursday's Life and Death showcase puts Tale of Us at the top of the bill alongside special guest Richie Hawtin for hours of deep, dark, minimal techno madness. LINK.

2. Giorgio Moroder with Horse Meat Disco

Giorgio Moroder at the Red Bull Guest House in Miami (Photo via Ian Witlen/Red Bull Content Pool)

When: Thursday, December 3

Location: Basement at the Edition Hotel, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

What's the Deal: Disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder can do things with a synthesizer that are illegal in at least twelve countries. His last performance in Miami was an ultra-exclusive rooftop party as part of the Red Bull Guest House two Winter Music Conferences ago. This time, he's playing at the Edition hotel's club Basement as part of its one-year anniversary week, alongside San Francisco crew Horse Meat Disco's more recent take on the genre he built with his bare hands. LINK.

3. Fade {Rx} Miami

When: Friday, December 4

Location: Fade to Mind Pharmacy, 7430 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Headliners: Kingdom, Total Freedom Mike Q, Leonce


What's the Deal: LA's Kingdom comes to Basel armed with some of his greatest beat brethren for a very special Fade to Mind showcase, including label stalwart Total Freedom, NYC vogue master MikeQ, Atlanta newcomer Leonce, and "secret guests." Best part: it's going to be hosted inside an old, converted South Beach pharmacy. The party is part of the SATELLITE Fair's musical offerings, which run all week Tuesday through Saturday at various locations. LINK.

4. Jamie XX and Four Tet (Live)

When: Friday, Dec. 4

Location: Mana Wynwyood, 318 NW 23 St., Wynwood

Headliners: Jamie XX, Four Tet (Live)

What's the Deal: III Points teamed with indie label Young Turks to host Jamie XX's first performance in Florida since dropping his proper debut LP In Colour and becoming chart-topping superstar. Four Tet rounds out the evening with a live set of original material. LINK.

5. Nakid Magazine Issue III Launch Party

(Photo via Facebook/Nakid Mag)

When: Friday, December 4

Location: Libertine, 34 NE 11 St., Miami

Headliners: Crywolf, Virgo, Basside, Kaixen, and Nala

What's the Deal: Nakid Mag pushes the limits of art and sex in a neat post-millennial package. For its Issue III, they enlisted Miami artist Jen Stark—known for her transfixing, three-dimensional, geometric rainbow explosions—to design its cover. To celebrate the issue's launch, locals Basside and Virgo will bring the raunchy Miami bass and futuristic galaxy-gaze respectively, while LA's Crywolf will debut a stripped-down version of his forthcoming live performance of his stirring new album Cataclasm. LINK.

6. Basel Castle

Basel Castle 2013

When: Friday, December 4

Location: The 1 Hotel Rooftop, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach


Headliners: Armand Van Helden

What's the Deal: Basel Castle, set in its own actual Castle set in the middle of the Wynwood Art District, has always been a highlight of Art Basel. This year, the turn up moves to a series of rooftop sessions at the very classy, recently renovated 1 Hotel on South Beach. Performer announcements are still trickling out, but Friday's headlining set from house legend Armand Van Helden is sure to be star-kissed splendor.

7. Verboten StageONE

Verboten StageONE in New York. (Photo via Daniel Leinweber/Razberry Photography)

When: Saturday, Dec. 5

Location: 540 NW 23 St., Wynwood

Headliners: Art Department, Black Coffee, Matthew Dear, Cuartero, Kevin Castro, Nicola Zanatta

What's the Deal: Brooklyn club Verboten's outdoor, daytime festival series StageONE has become a New York summer favorite three years running. For Basel, Verboten teamed with the Miami locals behind The Secret Garden project to curate a pop-up event from 1PM to 2AM featuring live muralists, high-production stage and dance floor areas, and thematic "chill out" spaces to ease your feet and mind. LINK.

8. Crew Love | Art Basel No. 9

The Electric Pickle (Photo by Edwin Escoboza)

When: Saturday, Dec. 5

Location: The Electric Pickle, 2826 N Miami Ave., Wynwood

Headliners: Soul Clap, Pillowtalk, Nick Monaco, and Navid Izadi (live)

What's the Deal: Even though Wolf + Lamb's musical collective Crew Love cites a sunrise Burning Man session as their chief inspiration, the crew's soulful and loving vibe fits right with Miami's colorful and sunny disposition. Four of the collective's favorites are coming for a big Basel splash at local house institution The Electric Pickle. If you come from out of town and don't see a show here, were you ever even in Miami? LINK.

9. Baby's All Basel

The crowd at a recent Poplife party with Duke Dumont (Photo by Jake Pierce)

When: Wednesday, December 2, through Sunday, December 6

Location: 1306, 1306 N Miami Ave., Wynwood


Headliners: Jacuzzi Boys, Kingdom, Mike Q, Prince Rama, QT, Venus X, and more TBA

What's the Deal: Ten years ago, where most saw an unfortunate urban wasteland, local promoters Poplife saw potential for a thriving downtown Miami nightlife scene. That scene is now alive and well, and Poplife continues to be a downtown leader. All week long, they're partnering up with Brooklyn's club-meets-restaurant Baby's All Right to create a pop-up space full of good tunes and tasty noms. There are a bunch of surprises planned, plus, it marks the opening of a new intimate venue. Watch the Baby's All Basel site for more info. LINK. MORE INFO.

10. Hard 2 Leave

When: Sunday, December 6

Location: E11even, 29 NE 11 St., Miami

Headliners: A-Trak

What's the Deal: The Overthrow's strip-club Hard 2 Leave party series has become a Sunday night shit-show spectacular. It's a must-attend event for all Basel party-goers without real jobs not yet ready to let the magic fade. It's notoriously nasty no matter who's on the bill, but three-time DMC Champion and Fool's Gold Records leader A-Trak is guaranteed to get the strippers extra sweaty. Make sure you bring plenty in tips. LINK