First of all I would get plenty of sleep before showing up, because there really isn’t any good time to sleep.

If you’re a neophyte to all this madness, have no fear, the right mix of caffeine and alcohol and a following a few of these tips and you’ll be rubbing elbows with the snootiest human beings on earth.



SCOPE, PULSE, DESIGN MIAMI, NADA. These fairs are all over the city, they feature contemporary international artists, and are curated in a way to keep it fun and not too overwhelming.

I would generally avoid the convention center, its quite vacuous, and the art is typically older and for more serious collectors. The vernissage event at the convention center is probably the one time I would recommend going there, personally I find it the best people watching. This is when all of miami gets dressed to the nines and feigns an interest in art when we all know what everyone cares about is money and boobs.

If you can finagle one of the VIP cards, you can get bottomless champagne at  most of these events which is pretty cool. Not sure how mere mortals can get VIP cards, most of this access is reserved for people who drop bank on art, so good luck on that.


Even the shittiest roach motel in Miami will be asking $500 a night this weekend. Save some dough and fire up an Airbnb. This is the big year Airbnb has exploded in miami and there is loads of supply still available of great condos. Personally I got myself a 1BR with oceanview at the Flamingo for $250 a night, and the outdoor pool and amenities are great. The flamingo is right on the bay so its easier to pop downtown to hit the fairs, and you get incredible sunsets by the bay. Dont be afraid to stay downtown either, most of the AB events are there, and that can be quite convenient to avoid the traffic over the bridge. My discount hotel recommendation is the OCEAN SPRAY: its really cheap and its one block from SOHO BEACH HOUSE (which is always booked). If you have the means, I’d suggest staying at the STANDARD SPA, simply the most lovely little oasis of relaxation right on the venetian causeway.

My secret boutique hotel recommendation is SENSE BEACH HOUSE in South of Fifth. Its a small intimate hotel with great personalized service. Their brunch is terrific, the location is perfect, right at 4Th and ocean, a block from the beach. The last couple times I stayed there the owner took me stand up paddling right on the water in front of the hotel. 


Hmmm, if you’re reading this that means you’re probably not on any lists. Hey just kidding, I love my readers! But seriously, unless you’re in “the industry” then you probably aren’t going to have time to RSVP to all these events, most of which you won’t find out about until the last minute anyway. I’d say in general in miami the list thing is usually pretty easy. If you’re a group of guys and girls, be friendly and dressed appropriately. Smile when the list comes out, be a couple drinks in, but not stinking drunk. Act at least mildly surprised that your name isn’t there, don’t be a dick at this point (or a bitch). I’d say for the most part they will let you slip past. Of course there are always exceptions, but just keep in mind that often someone there with a list is often merely a guise to feign exclusivity, when actually they really want you to come in and party at their event.


Since Miami is so infested with non-tipping Euros, most of the places on the beach are gonna charge you a service charge, and then not even tell you. So often they prey on the ignorant wasteds to double tip, and laugh all the way to LIV with their winnings.


Soho Beach house puts up a really sweet tent right on the beach all week during art basel. Every night they have live music and DJ’s till the wee hours, if you’re not a member, make friends with someone who is.

Bardot Miami is one of my favorite places to catch music and they always have a great AB lineup, this year they have Benoit n Sergio this year and I’m pretty stoked for that.

The Tiki Bar in the back of the Delano is a great breezy laid back spot and often you’ll drop in on some music back there. This in an ideal spot for “regrouping”

Would you like another cigarette? You may choose to spend all week following Le Baron all over miami, as they usually have a different venue and an eclectic music selection and the snobbiest DJ’s on earth.

For commerical house, LIV still reigns as king of the miami models and bottles scene. Story is a smaller venue, and a little more palatable for me personally. Also for an even more underground scene where the focus is solely on music, there is Do Not Sit on the Furniture.

Link Miami Rebels seem to have the underground scene in miami pretty dialed in, their have a huge production going on downtown this year.

Lastly don’t forget Life and Death Showcase with DIXON and thugfucker taking place thursday night till the wee hours.



Keep in mind that you’re surrounded by a tropical paradise, and make sure to get some sun and some beach time. I often meet people who don’t like miami and its usually cause they spend their whole time there in line or in some shitty nightclub. Keep in mind that locals in Miami have a really good quality of life, and while it may not be the most intellectual city, its possibly the most beautiful. Taking it easy and getting in some downtime to relax imo makes your whole week that much more rewarding. Some great local spots that I frequent often are PURA VIDA on first and Washington for their Acai Bowl. In fact I go there religiously just about every morning to start off my day. This acai bowl absolutely crushes anything I’ve ever been served in NYC. 


Another great local spot is Smith and Wollensky’s for brunch or sunset cocktails. This is a great outdoor spot where you can sit and watch the boats go by.

Lastly let’s not forget the STANDARD SPA for a cocktail. They have a really nice hydrotherapy spa, but in general it is reserved for members and hotel guests. On sunday they have traditional end of AB BBQ, and this is a great place to catch sunset and finish off your week with a goofy grin.

THANKS FOR READING. I’LL SEE YOU ON THE BEACH. Always happy to give specific reccomendations and tips to my readers: john@johnnynitelife.com





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