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We're starting our annual countdown to Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 and we'll keep you up-to-date on all the goings on down there as fast as the info comes our way. This year's edition of "the world's biggest arty party" officially starts on Wednesday, December 5th, with the opening night VIP vernissage at the Miami Beach Convention Center, but don't forget that many events are already scheduled for the beginning of that week, so you should plan on being there by the 3rd to catch everything.

Here are a few newsy tidbits and things to keep on your radar so far:

1347914257_ur1lineup.jpgAs if there weren't enough things happening during the week, along comes the UR1 Music & Art Festival. The two-day event December 8th-9th is scheduled to take place in downtown Miami's Bayfront Park with Kanye West, The Offspring (wut), Lou Reed, fun., Santigold, Pete Tong and tons more already confirmed.  It's the brainchild of Alex Omes, formerly one of the partners in Miami's Ultra Music Festival, along with Emi Guerra who is known for the Masquerade Motel parties. Get your tickets here. [Image via]


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The former headquarters of the Bacardi beverage company on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard has been purchased by the National YoungArts Foundation and will be re-invented by  superstar architect Frank Gehry. Don't worry, the sites iconic landmarked buildings will remain, but the interiors will be altered and there will be a new performing arts center. [HuffPo]

Screen shot 2012-10-05 at 2.37.13 PM.pngCheck out the cool renderings of this year's Design Miami pavilion created by Daniel Arsham's NYC firm Snarkitecture. (It reminds us a little of their Creative Time sand castle, no?) Look for it behind the Miami Beach Convention Center where it will be up from December 4th to 9th. [via MiamiCurbed]


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The W South Beach (2201 Collins Avenue) closed their Wall nightclub for some remodeling, but it's expected to be ready for Art Basel. Also re-vamped and now open again is Rokbar (190 Collins Avenue). The most anticipated new venture in town is Cooper Avenue (pictured above, 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue) -- the gigantic all-in-one superstore, restaurant and lounge housed in a new parking garage attached to the Performing Arts Center next to the new H&M store. The restaurant is open now and the rest is coming before the end of October. Finally there's something to lure pedestrians away from Lincoln Road. [Via Miami New Times, Miami Eater]




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