Art Basel Miami Beach went off without a hitch in the warm South Florida city this past weekend. With some of the best artists in the world bringing their pieces together for the world-renowned Miami arm of the Art Basel family, it’s one of the year’s best chances for art lovers to gather.

In recent years, a sort of “tech tailgating” has sprung up around the Art Basel event in Miami, bringing NFT lovers out to play in the days leading up to the main events. This year, the tailgating became an official and exclusive affair as UTA, Kitson Yachts and more hosted an NFT cocktail reception aboard one of the latter brand’s most breathtaking yachts. 

NFT Reception

Kitson

This year, a number of big-name tech and art companies collaborated for a cocktail reception aboard Bold, an 85-meter-long Kitson Yacht with two helipads and luxuries galore. Companies and individuals that were a part of the reception include:

  • UTA: UTA is one of the world’s leading global talent, entertainment and sports companies. They represent a number of some of the world’s most acclaimed names in film, television, news, music, sports, speakers, theater, fine art, literature, video games, podcasts and other social and digital content. Clients include Alice Cooper, 3 Doors Down, Aurora, Chance the Rapper, Daughtry, Derek Hough, Dolly Parton, Flo Rida, Guns N’ Roses, Illenium, Queen Latifah and many more. 
  • Jamie Sharp: The F1 driver is fresh off his win at the 50th running of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
  • The Shalizi Group: Multi-platform talent group that represents titans like Alesso, Jauz, Marshmello, Southside and more. 
  • supersnake: An American rock band. 
  • Thoma Bravo: A leading private equity firm with an over 40-year history, including over $91 billion in assets under management. 
  • Coinbase: The world’s leading crypto exchange. 
  • Kitson Yachts.

It all happened about Kitson Yachts’ Bold, and the Intelligencer reports, “The occasion for the boat — docked in the Museum Park Marina, in full view of the FTX Arena, the stadium for the Miami Heat just renamed for another crypto exchange, which hosted an NFT event for some 3,000 people earlier in the day — is that the owners want to sell it for around $115 million in cryptocurrency and were hosting a kind of send-off party for it. … On land, the line to get on was about a hundred people long.”

The reception kicked off November 30, days before Art Basel opened officially and was a sort of gathering point for those looking to combine art events like Art Basel with the power of NFTs. 

Kitson Yachts 

One of the sponsors of the NFT reception was Kitson Yachts. Kitson is one of the most beloved and exclusive names in the industry, with vessels around the world proudly carrying the name. The Kitson Yachts website explains their mission; “Redefining the yachting experience: Our considered work with the world’s elite and within some of the greatest names in the modern business world has taught us a better way to do business in the world of yachting.

Kitson Yachts embodies the Founders’ shared vision and personal values of absolute dedication alongside the trust our international yacht brokers have established with our clients over the years. Based in South Florida, Kitson Yachts has a strong presence in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Europe, and the Caribbean. We maintain special industry and client relationships worldwide.”

Kitson sells some of the world’s most luxurious yachts and superyachts, offering yacht and charter management as well as chartering opportunities. If you’re in the market for a yacht, you already know the name Kitson and are probably dreaming of the day you can call one your own. 

NFT Tailgating at Art Basel Miami

Kitson

The NFT tailgating culture that has sprung up around Art Basel proves that NFTs are becoming a part of the mainstream art community. Non-fungible tokens are digital assets owned solely by the holder of the token. The way they have been integrated into the art community is both clever and intriguing. Artists can sell their pieces directly to fans without the middleman of an auction house or exchange – although auction titan Christie’s has recently begun including NFTs in their lot sales.

Logically it would make sense that this revolutionary way of selling and owning art would follow the art community to such events, but seeing it happen in real-time is something else. NFT lovers gather in the lead-up to Art Basel to celebrate and hover with anticipation, ready to add more to their collections. What was before a stately and elegant event remains so, but there’s an element of party and celebration with the NFT tailgating mixed in.

The so-called tailgating is also a great opportunity for artists to network with buyers and collectors who are gathering for the main event, making deals and forging connections before the doors even open on Art Basel. Artists who performed or were involved in the cocktail reception before this year’s Art Basel include:

  • Chris Comstock, DJ
  • Jauz, DJ
  • Brooklyn Beckham, Actor
  • Montana Tucker, Influencer
  • Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum
  • Chris Lyons, a16z
  • Farokh, Founder of Goodlife
  • ThankYouX, Artist
  • Diana Sinclair, Crypto Artist
  • Seedphrase, Crypto Influencer
  • Coin Artist, Crypto Influencer.

It’s clear that the NFT community is bringing something completely new and different to the art world, and watching them blend and merge the way they’re starting to promises to make the future of Art Basel a little more high-tech.