Go for the Art, Stay for the Party

Article by: Chip Conley|@ChipConley

Fri November 30, 2012 | 00:00 AM

512px-WMC09_-_Beatport_Pool_PartyPermission Vincent Escudero via Wikimedia Commons

Okay, admit it. You go to Sundance, not because you love films but you like skiin’ and hangin’ with celebs. You go to the Super Bowl, not because you enjoy football but because those corporate big wigs know how to throw a swanky affair. Same here. You may not have a clue about art. You can’t tell the difference between a Warhol and a Koons. But, you have a scent for a good party. Miami is quite a stage and with the amount of money flowing through the town in early December, you’ll find your share of hedonism.

First, let me say that the more formal events are usually Tuesday through Thursday in the form of art benefits, usually to launch one of the art fairs. These events can be snoozers, but are for a good cause so they have a sizable entry price. Each year, the New York Times usually puts out a list of the more mainstream bacchanalian events that are available to Joe Public during the week. In fact, I’d advise just Googling “best parties during Art Basel Miami a week before you go.”

But, those in-the-know will tell you that the best parties are those you find out about spontaneously. Hanging out at the Delano Hotel (or the SLS or Freehand) and keeping your ears and eyes open is a trusted means of going with the party flow. And, just planting yourself at one the more hipster art fairs – Fountain, Aqua, Untitled, Seven – and chatting up cool folks will uncover all kinds of nocturnal opportunities.