This year’s Art Basel Miami Beach was a half-week whirlwind of contemporary art showcases, celebrity sightseeing and musical performances. From the bustling Wynwood Arts District to exclusive Palm Island mansion parties, Billboard takes you back to South Beach to recap some of the music and party highlights from this year’s Art Basel.
Wednesday, December 3rd
Beck’s Access Launch Party at Gale Hotel Rooftop
As complementary Beck’s beer flowed, Berlin artist Radio Slave entertained Art Basel’s early arrivals on the Gale Hotel’s panoramic rooftop with pumping tech house beats. A number of eyebrow-raising outfits were seen in attendance, including a model in a form-fitting leotard whose head was obscured by an oversized lampshade.
20 Years of Martin Buttrich — Presented by LINK MiamiRebels at Trade
MiamiRebels’ esteemed underground event series LINK brought German production wizard Martin Buttrich to its decks at Trade, treating attendees to nuanced techno beats on its state-of-the-art Funktion One system.
Thursday, December 4th
It’s a London Thing: FKA Twigs Closing Party — Presented by Bud Light Lime Ritas at PPP Muzik Mansion
Parisian multidisciplinary collective Pigalle, Pompon and Pain O Chokolat joined Muzik to take over a luxurious waterfront Palm Island mansion and throw a weekend’s worth of parties that attracted no shortage of celebrity attendees. On Thursday, a select group of invitees enjoyed a special multi-course meal cooked by Bronx culinary collective Ghetto Gastro, followed by an engaging dance performance by Ryan Heffington and musical performances by Skepta and other special guests. Guests of note at the event included FKA Twigs, her beau Robert Pattinson, and various members of A$AP Mob.
Friday, December 5th
When Pigs Fly — Presented by LINK MiamiRebels at Trade
MiamiRebels’ LINK brought a star-studded lineup to Trade on Friday, featuring Sasha, Dubfire, Carl Craig and Matthew Dear. The evening’s highlight came when Sasha and Dubfire shared the decks on a well received back-to-back set that showcased each veteran’s mixing touch and stylistic versatility.
Seth Troxler b2b The Martinez Brothers at Space
Detroit native Seth Troxler teamed with the Martinez Brothers on joint label Tuskegee earlier this year, so it was no surprise to see the underground acts linking up behind the decks as well. In one of the best dance shows of the week, Troxler and the Bronx brothers manned the Space Terrace well into the afternoon, dropping muscular tech house beats to the delight of sleepless attendees.
Saturday, December 6th
Other Worlds & The Vibes Experience — Presented by Ketel One Vodka & The Hole at Soho Studios
British artist Matthew Stone and Blood Orange‘s Dev Hynes joined forces in exhibiting “Other Worlds,” a new multimedia art installation featuring an entrancing LED video sculpture and an originally composed score. The following party saw Theophilus London perform a well-received DJ set with visual effects by Kanye West‘s creative agency DONDA. Audio/visual producer Virgil Abloh closed out the night, which also featured craft cocktails and interior design elements resembling the Ketel One distillery through the brand’s multifaceted De Nolet experience.
Muzik Party at PPP Muzik Mansion
With Drake hosting the official launch party for Muzik, a music technology company founded by Jason Hardi with a new line of smart headphones, this party was the place to be early Saturday evening. Prior to the reported Diddy punch-up the next night, Drake rolled through to perform a surprise DJ set with Future the Prince flanked by a hulking security detail and models Jourdan Dunn and Segal Curry.
Opening with his Grammy-nominated feature with ILoveMakonnen‘s “Tuesday,” the Toronto superstar frequently took to the mic to address the crowd during a set that featured mostly his own originals, though he refrained from actually singing or rapping along. Spotted celebrities included Adrian Grenier, Rosario Dawson, Joe Jonas, as well as a handful of Playboy playmates and YouTube personalities.
Music On Miami — Opening Party at Story
Italian techno institution Marco Carola kicked off his new residency in style over Art Basel weekend, playing to a packed and enthusiastic Story nightclub. After taking the reins from opener Bill Patrick, the Naples native patiently built a compelling techno groove before masterfully escalating the energy in the party’s final two hours as only he can do.
Sunday, December 7th
Fool’s Gold Day Off at LMNT Lot
The music continued in earnest even after the art show had technically ended. A-Trak‘s label party drew a significant crowd to a Wynwood parking lot for a show featuring Danny Brown, DJ Mustard, Milo & Otis, Trippy Turtle, Giraffage, Mike Will Made-It, Nick Catchdubs, Flat White, Shash’U, and the Outfit TX. While the audience seemed perplexed by the experimental electronica of Giraffage early on, attendees began moving more once the hip-hop acts took to the stage.