How to experience Art Basel 2018 like a broke VIP

To officially experience Art Basel, by going to the Miami Beach Convention Center for the fair, it can cost you a pretty decent amount. And that’s not even factoring in checking out other fairs every day, parking or rideshares, or imbibing and dining among the artistic class.

So we decided to help y’all do Basel on the cheap, to live your VIP dreams while living on a not-so VIP salary. And if you have other tips for your fellow broke Miamians, hit us at [email protected] or let us know in the comments.  

Work those connections. If you’ve lived in Miami long enough there’s a decent chance that a friend of a friend of a cousin’s nephew has some kind of connection to a cool show, an after party or someone working in public relations who can get you a hookup this week. If you really want to experience the best of the art world, now’s the time to milk those distant relationships  and double check those business cards you got at that boring work mixer.

Whip out those IDs. If you really want to check out the official fair at the convention center, or Design Miami across the street, you can get discounted day passes if you’re a student or you’re 62 and older. You have to provide legit proof though, so scammers need not apply.

Groupon gang. A quick search of “miami art week” on Groupon yields a mix of museums and other random results but you can find some deals there, including discounted access to shows like “The Art of Banksy” and the Spectrum Miami & Red Dot art fairs.

Dress the part. A lot of Art Basel-goers are all about the spectacle so don’t hesitate to go all out and see where it can get you. We can’t guarantee this will actually help you gain access to a fair but confidence goes a long way! Plus, fashion is so subjective that the right pieces from a thrift shop like Flamingos or Lotus House might be exactly what’s in season, and could help you blend in with the real VIP section.

Be an Instagram sleuth. Your favorite influencer’s favorite blogger is probably going to hit every party and major event that you won’t necessarily be able to get into. But they’ll also likely have the scoop on the underground stuff and the after parties that you won’t see on Eventbrite or Facebook. So keep a close eye on those accounts (shout out to living vicariously through folks like @woosupreme, @liadarkbloom & @octavia_yearwood) – if you can’t make it into the main party, you could find your way to the lowkey getty later that night.

Leave your car at home. Save on gas, parking fees, and surge pricing by avoiding cars altogether and hopping on a bike to get around to the fairs. And if you can’t access a bicycle then consider catching a City of Miami or Miami Beach trolley or Basel shuttles. Here are all the deets on the trolley and shuttle routes during Miami Art Week.