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How Miami Transforms Into A Global Culture Mecca During Art Basel

We’re crashing Art Week 2023 in search of the perfect beat, and so is every celebrity and major DJ in your IG feed
Art Basel Miami Beach
The atmosphere at Art Basel Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center (Credit: Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

What do Jeff Bezos, Sofi Tukker and SPIN all have in common? 

We’re all in Miami for Miami Art Week, aka Art Basel 2023. Are you?

Every year during the first week of December, a who’s-who of artists, art buyers, crypto bros, musicians, DJs, models, celebrities and socialites descend upon Miami’s idyllic beaches and neon streets to cast sleep aside in search of the endless party we call “Art Basel.”

Honestly, Rockstar Games couldn’t have picked a better week to leak the new Grand Theft Auto VI trailer

From now until the moment the sun peaks over the sparkling Atlantic on Monday morning (and maybe even next Wednesday if you’re dancing at Club Space), the worlds of culture and commerce will be angling for updates from the 305.

“Parties, Pills and Paintings at Miami Art Week,” reads one headline from The Atlantic. “Art Basel Isn’t Even Open Yet, But Artists and Dealers Are Already Partying Hard,” reads another by Art News

This is the gist of the conversation as it will continue until you’re forced to filter out any mention of Miami on social media lest you die of FOMO.

Art Basel in Miami Beach (Credit: Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Art Basel Miami Beach is nothing new. First introduced in 2002 as an offshoot of the original Art Basel in Switzerland, the true “Art Basel” is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It is just one of many massive art fair exhibitions across Miami. It welcomes attendees this Friday to Sunday, Dec. 8 to 10, to see (and buy) fresh works by leading artists and galleries worldwide.

More than 20 years after its original opening, the phenomenon folks call “Art Basel” has far outgrown Art Basel the institution. Hundreds if not thousands of galleries, fairs, artists and muralists gather in Miami each December, filling a whole week with events that draw larger and larger crowds year in and year out.

By 2015, the spectacle of satellite parties and concerts began to outshine the actual art on display as promoters booked bigger and more recognizable headliners across genres. 

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

This year’s Art Week musical calendar is dominated by DJs. Between Disclosure’s Friends and Family event; John Summit sharing a bill with Fatboy Slim; and the whole week of non-stop programming at the rave monolith known as Factory Town, it’s likely Miamians won’t see a single under-dilated pupil until Christmas break. 

There’s also a new music festival dedicated to dance music called Art With Me. The fest takes over the island paradise that is Virginia Key and transforms it into a proper three-day beach banger with performances from Underworld, Polo & Pan, Channel Tres, LP Giobbi and more.

Because we’re never one to miss an excuse to drink, dance, debauch and otherwise hobnob with the pop culture elite, SPIN is hosting our guest-listed event.

The theme is “Anything Goes,” and from 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Dec. 8, the Basel glitterati will surely help us push the envelope of decency at our secret locale on Miami Beach. There will be performances and DJ sets, artists displaying work across mediums, costumed dancers and maybe even mermaids. Some lucky partiers will walk away with exclusive T-shirts designed by the artist Sheila Darcey, and there will be more than a few celeb sightings, as there always is this week in Miami.

So, if you’re in the city and you’re tired of journeying through “the Algorithmic Self” at the Faena Hotel’s giant sand Maze, or of navigating the two-city block structure that is Now Media’s Gateway Miami at the Faena Forum, you can try to track us down and see how Spin throws a party in the Magic City.

We’re not responsible for your epic hangover Monday morning—unless, you know, you want us to be.