Rakastella 2017 – Art Basel, Miami
The week of Miami Art Basel included anything you could imagine and everything you can’t. The literally hundreds of art and music events happening during the entire week and sprawling all over Miami encompassed some of the most unique artists and one of a kind experiences in the world.
One event stood out to us when planning our trip to Art Basel, a 14-hour day into night celebration of music and life taking place in a beautiful outdoors setting called Rakastella. Virginia Key Beach, which will host the much anticipated Fractal Beach Festival in February, was the setting for this truly special event. Longtime player in the Miami music scene, PLOT, organized Rakastella along with international record labels, Life and Death and Innervisions who are both responsible for one of a kind electronic music events in exotic locations all over the world.
Owners of Innervisions, Dixon and legendary duo Âme headlined the festival along with Axel Boman, DJ Koze, Mano Le Tough, Marvin & Guy, Octo Octa LIVE, Red Axes, Roman Flügel, DJ Tennis, Jennifer Cardini, Lovefingers, Solar, Uchi and more. This night, which many people we talked to regarded as the best lineup during the whole week of Art Basel, hosted the first ever United States performance by Âme II Âme, both members playing a special set. All of these artists collectively are some of the most sought after acts in electronic music who play a limited amount of shows in the United States, so lovers of house music all over the world must have felt a pang of jealousy when they saw this lineup. Dixon, who played the closing set on the larger of the two stages has been voted by Resident Advisor as the #1 DJ in the world for an unprecedented 4 years in a row so it was a truly rare and magical experience to see him in our beloved home state and without having to travel across the world.
The energy at Rakastella was bright and inspired despite the weather dipping into the 50’s. Between the cold air and the organic environment we did not feel like we were in Miami anymore, but in some other realm of the world. As night fell both stages became packed with an international crowd who came to appreciate incredible music in this unique setting. Decorated bird cages adorned trees and both stages which are a recurring symbol used by Life and Death records.
Most events during Art Basel in Miami take place in ritzy clubs, warehouses, hotel pool decks or even yachts but Rakastella was a one off experience from the norm. The festival also included vendors, artists, food trucks and a big blue Modelo truck serving free tacos until they were gone. We were excited to see the artists that we knew and discover new music that we had not been exposed to and our expectations were exceeded by everyone who took the stage.
Standout sets for us were Octo Octa who played a live synthesizer set, Red Axes, Roman Flügel, Âme II Âme, Mano Le Tough and of course, Dixon. Each of these artists are unique in their own right but their music shares a romantic theme and mind-expanding aesthetic. The music played throughout the night was smooth, deep and complex while constantly progressing to something new. This is not the type of house music you would hear on the radio or the main stage of a huge EDM festival, is the music of your dreams and interstellar voyages. Thank you, Art Basel and thank you Rakastella for curating such a beautiful experience for all of us who attended. Until next year!
Rakastella Photos and Media
by Andrew Goebel:
Crowd during Mano le Tough
by Charlie Hustle: