Art Basel: Basel Castle

After nearly a week of stuffing ourselves inside the countless closet-sized gallery spaces of Wynwood, the dimly lit Miami beach night clubs and the convention center-turned-rat-maze that is Art Basel, we finally got to stretch out under the stars this weekend at Basel Castle.

You have some pretty big shoes to fill if you promise to throw a festival that will be "a visual and auditory spectacle from start to finish" in a city that is brought to its knees each year by the Ultra Music Festival. This task was undertaken by the team at Overthrow Collective in association with Embrace and ABV Gallery. After three years of building Basel Castle into one of the must-see events of Art Basel week, the festival moved out of its home in Wynwood and into Grand Central Park in the heart of downtown Miami. The extra leg room meant more kids making bigger mistakes after their parents dropped them off to see performances by Been Trill, Brodinski, Gesaffelstein, Chance The Rapper and SBTRKT.

We may be a little biased, but our boys in Been Trill were our favorite performers of the event. The band of art directors turned DJ’s, who wear out their own name as much as they rock clothing by the design house Hood By Air, may say that DJ’ing is nothing but a second job, but once they get on stage they don’t act like it. The crowd pumped their fists and lost their minds as they got down to their spot on set. It probably helped that half of the audience members looked like they were starting to feel the effects of whatever they had taken right before they walked into the event.

Once we decided to leave the sweaty mess of bouncing, shirtless teenagers, we wandered around the festival to take a gander at the slew of artists such as Buff Monster and Greg Mike, who were painting live throughout the festival grounds. Giant murals like the kinds we were use to seeing on the walls of Wynwood loomed over interactive art work that seemed to all share a theme that might make someone wonder if psychedelics were a required medium for all of Basel Castle’s installation artists.

As we ventured on, it was apparent that we were still in Miami as we bumped into a group of curvaceous babes dressed in fur boots and what appeared to be eye patches pretending to be swimsuits. We noticed that the Fat Jew in December dresses a lot like the Fat Jew in the summer, with a fully unbuttoned shirt and a shiny, metal glove of armor. More detailed costumes that looked like leftovers from the Ultra Festival were worn by Cirque Du Soleil dropouts as they hula-hooped the night away.

The event was a welcome change of pace to help get all the traveling art lovers from around the globe out of their hotel rooms and away from the pool, but by the end of the night, too much fun is still too much fun and we all left drunkenly staggering back out into the city that has yet to be introduced to the importance of Uber car services. The rest of the weekend was spent nursing a hangover and vowing to never drink again, but something tells us by this time next year, we will have all forgotten as we suit up to get weird at Basel Castle.

Photos By: Sam Deitch

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