Labor Day in South Florida doesn’t really mean what it does elsewhere. If you want to wear white after it, nobody cares — rock on with your tacky self. It doesn’t signal the end of hot weather, either. (Nothing ever does). What it does mean, though, is, probably, an influx of tourists on your usual beach, but, on the positive side, yet another day off from work. And that means, of course, another excuse to drink on what would have been a “school” night! Sleep in guilt-free after hitting up any of these five free or cheap parties going on this Sunday night.
The Church at the Vagabond, Miami
This forever-running Miami goth party rises from the dead nearly every long weekend, these days at the Vagabond in downtown Miami. The soundtrack hasn’t changed much from the event’s heyday, which is just how we like it — heavy on dark alternative classics. Familiar names from this scene like Danny Bled and Dracula’s Daughter spin alongside Vagabond residents like Ray Milian. The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Admission is $10; age 21 and up. Call 305-379-0508, or visit thevagabondmiami.com
Chocolate Sundays at Purdy Lounge
This Sunday-night weekly has been packing in a mix of South Beach locals, skateboarder, hip-hop heads, and the random for more than half a decade. It’s such a long-running party because it’s fun — the venue, music, and vibe are all unpretentious and known to get rowdy. Long weekends are when it gets most packed, so show up early if you want to avoid a line. Admission is still free, as always, though. Purdy Lounge, 1911 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach. Call 305-531-4622, or visit purdylounge.com
The Endless Summer at Chalk
Make it a twofer for cool, unpretentious places on South Beach and add a Chalk visit to your itinerary before or after Purdy. This Endless-Summer theme party comes sponsored by Quiksilver and Sunbum Suntan Lotion, appropriately, with free giveaways form both. The soundtrack comes courtesy of DJ Tavin, and you can score $6 Chalkaholic cocktails and $3 PBR (or, if you gather some friends, a $50 Heineken pony keg). Chalk, 1234 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free; age 21 and up. Call 305-632-8662, or visit chalkmiami.com
Work It at Bardot
If you’ve been to the sweaty loft party that is Peach Fuzz Fridays at the Garrett, then you’ll know what to expect at this one-off by the same creative minds. That means an eclectic crowd of weirdos dancing to R&B, hip-hop, dancehall, a little early house, and whatever else makes the ladies shake it. Peach Fuzz resident DJ DZA spins alongside out-of-town guest Jayceeoh. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up. Call 305-576-5570, or visit bardotmiami.com
Industry Sundays With Cat Shell at Will Call Miami
Will Call is a new bar smack in the middle of downtown — you can practically see it from the arena — that’s sort of a sports bar, but also sort of setting foot into the live music arena. It’s a super-new spot that seems to still be trying to find an identity, but we welcome any place that also welcomes original, live music. This Sunday sees the return of its regular Sunday in-the-biz party for people who work in the nightlife industry, so no Labor Day specials, per se, but lovely local singer-songwriter Cat Shell performs for free. Will Call Miami, 700 NE 2nd Ave., Miami. Age21 and up. Call 305-577-5900, or visit facebook.com/willcallmiami.