Miami’s Events Calendar Rocked by Coronavirus Concerns

Miami’s Events Calendar Rocked by Coronavirus Concerns

By: Sara Warden

2 min read March 2020 — Sunshine, beaches, cruises, outdoor festivals … this is Florida’s bread and butter. But what happens when a global health crisis crosses international borders? Miami’s tourism industry is now finding out.

 

When the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak began spreading in China at the end of January, there was very little overseas impact and China seemed to bear the brunt of the outbreak, shutting down logistics and imposing quarantines. But as cases began popping up globally, with Italy, Iran and Southeast Asian countries particularly affected, governments started to take action. The tourism industry, as a result, is suffering. The United States currently has 140 active cases of the virus, with 11 deaths, and officials confirmed two cases in Florida on Sunday. 

Florida very much intends to maintain open borders and air travel. Two of its economic strengths are international trade, with 40% of all U.S. exports to Latin America passing through Florida, and tourism, which added an estimated $111.7 billion to the state’s economy in 2016.

Already, Miami is feeling the impact of the outbreak. This week, the city was meant to host Zendesk Relate, a 2,300-attendee conference at Miami’s conference center held by San Francisco-based customer-service software company Zendesk. But the company announced the event’s cancellation on Monday, on the same day American Airlines suspended its Miami-Milan service as the number of active cases in Italy ballooned to 2,706, with 107 deaths registered.

Another event impacted by the virus is the annual Ultra Music Festival, which organizers have reportedly postponed – potentially for a year, according to the Miami Herald. The electronic dance event typically attracts 55,000 people per day and the 2020 edition is due to be held on Bayfront Park. With tickets starting at around $300 and going up to $1,500, the impact of cancellation would be significant. “I agreed with the decision to postpone it,” City Commissioner Manolo Reyes told the Miami Herald. “And now I’m worried about the Calle Ocho Festival,” referring to the Latin music festival scheduled for March 15 in Little Havana.

Some conference organizers and attendees are attempting to postpone events until May, when there is hope the virus will be contained. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is less optimistic about the impact on Florida, predicting more cases will emerge shortly.

The Medical Affairs Professional Society is scheduled to host a conference on March 9-11 but has already experienced some cancellations, according to CEO Travis Hege. The conference is still going ahead as scheduled, he told the Miami Herald. “Any deaths in Florida or outbreak in Florida is the biggest thing we are monitoring,” he said. “We’re continuing to monitor the latest developments. Otherwise, we will be proceeding as planned.”

And while cancellations of events like Zendesk Relate are not ideal, this is far from the biggest event Miami is due to hold this year. Art Basel may or may not take place in June after the Hong Kong edition was canceled and Miami Pride events will take place at the end of March and beginning of April.

But Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday there is no need to cancel major events, and instead there needs to be a specific focus on protecting the elderly and vulnerable populations. “We will step up and make sure that those elderly get those services,” he told Local 10. He added that arriving visitors will be more thoroughly screened and that residents should “live your normal life (and) take just common-sense precautions.”

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.zendesk.com

https://www.artbasel.com/miami-beach

https://ultramusicfestival.com/

https://www.miamiandbeaches.com/event/miami-beach-pride/2188

https://carnavalmiami.com/events/calle-ocho/ 

https://www.miamidade.gov/global/government/mayor/home.page

https://www.medicalaffairs.org/

 

 

Art Basel: Miami Art Week Brings the City to a Standstill

Art Basel: Miami Art Week Brings the City to a Standstill

By: Sara Warden

2 min read December 2019 — Art Basel is in to town. When Swiss art dealers Ernst Beyeler, Trudl Bruckner and Balz Hilt began the show in Basel, Switzerland, in 1970, it was a cult hit. As the art fair gained momentum over the years it added two additional venues – Hong Kong and Miami Beach. Now, Art Basel Miami Beach brings the city to a standstill.

 

 

Started in 2002, the Miami Beach show itself draws in 70,000 visitors per year, 4,000 artists and over 250 of the world’s leading galleries participate. For those galleries accepted to exhibit in the main Art Basel space at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the cost starts at $100,000. Miami Beach also attracts over 20 satellite fairs, and there is so much art buzz around town during the dates that the week is now known as Miami Art Week. Tickets are available at $65 a pop, but for many, that’s a steal to access so many world-class artists all in one place.

Art Basel has played a significant role in democratizing access to these works of art and providing exposure for up-and-coming artists. In the 1980s, for example, the global art world was but a tiny network. “We knew every collector in the world then. Ninety percent of them were in New York or Germany,” collector Don Rubell told The New York Times. But now, times have changed. “Miami is not just bikinis and muscles anymore.”

UBS and Art Basel research shows that the global art market hit $63.7 billion in sales in 2017, with the United States the largest market, accounting for 42 percent. Art Basel Miami is responsible for about 10 percent of domestic sales, Alexander Forbes, executive editor of the art news website Artsy, told Marketplace. “$2 billion to $3 billion worth of art is usually on view,” he said.

Rubell and his wife Mera were instrumental in convincing Art Basel to set up shop in Miami in the early 2000s and the family collection now occupies a whopping 100,000-square-foot campus in Allapattah, which they purchased for $4 million. At the same time the Rubells purchased the plot, they bought a neighboring piece of land for $8.6 million.

According to Esther Park, a regular on the Miami art scene, Miami has just the right features to make it a haven for an event like Art Basel. “Miami was always going to blow up eventually,” she told Miami New Times. “It’s just that Basel propelled it.”

Samuel Keller, Art Basel’s director, acknowledged in an interview with The New York Times that Miami was a risky choice, but that it had all the ingredients for success. “Here there is a huge potential, economically but also culturally,” he said, calling the city “the gateway to Latin America, a melting pot of minorities from European to Jewish to gay.”

The four-day extravaganza attracts the most prestigious art buyers from all over the world, who enjoy splashing out. The trade fair has partnered with several major hotels in the area to offer preferential rates for attendees, but to stay in The W South Beach, The Standard Spa, Miami Beach or Nautilus by Arlo, prices still start at $422 per night and go right up to $1,650.

To learn more, visit:

https://www.artbasel.com/

https://rfc.museum/about-us

https://www.artsy.net

https://www.ubs.com/ 

https://www.miamibeachconvention.com/