There’s a musical performance for every taste this month, including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in what might be their final tour, the diverse lineup of this year’s SunFest (featuring Blink-182, Snoop Dogg, and Ziggy Marley), and Rolling Loud, one of the fastest-growing hip-hop festivals in the country.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
May 3 - 6 | Literature
Miami Writers Institute
The Miami Book Fair takes place in November, but the organization behind it offers programming all year round. Enter the four-day Miami Writers Institute, a writer-centric fair that includes writing workshops, publishing seminars, craft talks, opportunities to meet agents, and casual mixer events to get to know Miami’s writing community. Whether you’re an only-in-my journal writer, a professional wordsmith, or an avid reader, you’ll find a talk or workshop to hold your attention.
Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami | From $50 | website
May 3 - 7 | Music festival
If you have eclectic taste in music and like a view of the water (who doesn’t?), then West Palm Beach’s SunFest is the perfect summer festival for you. Headliners for this year’s event on the Intracoastal Waterway include Blink-182, Weezer, Snoop Dogg, Dirty Heads, and Ziggy Marley. Stick around right up until the very end for the closing fireworks show on Sunday night.
100 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, Florida | From $41 | website
May 5 | Music
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
You won’t want to miss what might be Tom Petty’s last show in West Palm Beach. The Florida native is bringing his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, out for one more tour, which he has said could be his last. The show is sure to include all his hits and nods to each of the band’s 13 records.
7:30 PM | Perfect Vodka Amphitheater, 601-7 Sandburg Way, West Palm Beach, Florida | From $40 | website
May 5 - 7 | Music festival
For a young festival, Rolling Loud doesn’t lack when it comes to a lineup. The three-year-old rap and hip-hop festival moved from Wynwood to Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park this year to accommodate more attendees—a good move, considering the lineup, which includes fresh-off-Coachella Kendrick Lamar and Future, plus Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, and breakout stars Migos. Single-day tickets for this fest are a thing of the past, but with talent like this, you’d want a three-day pass even if it weren’t the only option.
Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami | $250 | website
May 6 | Workshop
Sitting at the intersection between theater workshop and climate change panel, Eco-Theater Lab offers an immersive, hands-on approach to talking about climate issues. A local climate expert will present the science behind real-world climate challenges. Participants take these facts and grapple with them in hypothetical, improv-type performances. The result is a fun way to talk about solutions for one of our world’s toughest problems.
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM | The Miami Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler, Miami | Free | website
May 8 | Museum
Frost Science Museum Grand Opening
The much-anticipated and brand-new Frost Science Museum opens in its new location on Miami’s waterfront Museum Park. The new museum features a 250-seat planetarium plus interactive exhibits throughout, but the literal centerpiece is the three-story aquarium that runs through the middle of the building. Frost’s opening comes at the beginning of Miami Museum Month, which runs through the end of May. There are plenty of deals, but some of the best happen at smaller museums and art spaces, which put on special experiences just for the event.
11:00 AM | 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami | $28 | website
May 11 | Performing arts
Here & Now
Since 1999, the Miami Light Project has been commissioning multimedia and performance artists from around South Florida for its yearly Here & Now show, a celebration of modern art in its many forms. The program is the first of its kind, and artists who’ve performed at past events have gone on to bring their work to 14 states and 15 countries. This year’s artists include dancers and choreographers Katie Stirman and Brigette Cormier and filmmaker Juan Carlos Zaldívar.
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM | The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th St., Miami | From $15 | website
May 14 | Food
Taste of Haiti
Haiti’s unique flavor profile will be headlining this annual food festival, where vendors will serve plates piled with pikliz (a traditional, cabbage-based relish) and sauce pois (bean puree). Held at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s plaza, the festival will also feature a cook-off, recipe contest, and cultural performances spanning dance and music to poetry.
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM | MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami | Free | website
May 21 | History & culture
Vizcaya Village Open House
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a much-visited historic site in Miami; the Vizcaya Village, however, located across the street, isn’t usually open to visitors. Get a peek during this rare open house in celebration of the museum’s centennial year. Once part of the Vizcaya property’s farm, the 12-acre Vizcaya Village was added in 1916 in an effort to make Vizcaya self-sufficient. The 11 buildings include a greenhouse and workshop space, and at this event you can expect music, food trucks, guided tours, and lessons in urban farming. If you miss this open house, there will be two more—one in June and another in July—before the village closes again for the foreseeable future.
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Vizcaya Village, 3250 S. Miami Ave., Miami | Free | website
June 18 | Book ahead: Comedy
If you’ve seen her stand-up comedy on Netflix, caught her Amazon show, or heard her appearances on the podcast This American Life, then you already know the dark comic genius of Tig Notaro. If she hasn’t entered your life yet, consider this upcoming show at Ft. Lauderdale’s Amateur Theater your lesson in humor. The laughs don’t come till June, but you’ll want to reserve tickets early because the comedy queen is bound to sell out.
7:30 PM | Amaturo Theater at Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Ft. Lauderdale | From $28 | website
Patricia Guarch Wise is a Miami native and the blogger behind Miami Nice. Her interests include paella, paranormal activity, Proenza Schouler, and her Pekingese named Bonnaroo.