The moon man has officially landed in Miami, and everywhere you look, MTV has taken over. The show begins 8 p.m. Sunday, but you don't have to wait till then to get in on the action. VMA Week officially began this past Saturday and continues to the wee hours of Monday morning. So pop the Cristal and get the party started with our rundown of the week's hottest VMA-related events.

Almost all these celeb-infested parties are open to the public. However, because the cover charges at most have yet to be determined, we suggest you empty your savings account and sell your collection of Garbage Pail Kids cards on eBay before attending. And depending on how badly you want in with the A-listers, finding a sugar daddy or mama by Friday probably wouldn't hurt, either.

  • Also
  • MTV VMAs MTV VMAs
  • 2004 VMA Nominees Photos: 2004 VMA Nominees
  • 2003 VMA Highlights Photos: 2003 VMA Highlights
  • VMA Highlights Through the Years Photos: VMA Highlights Through the Years
  • Where: American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami (Map)

    When: August 29, 2004 at 8 p.m. Since it's a live TV show, doors open at 5:30pm and close promptly at 7:30pm.

    Fan Casting Call: Unfortunately, the casting process for fans of the VMAs has come to a close.

    Tickets: MTV sold more than 2,000 tickets to the general public for the 2004 VMAs on Aug. 15.

    Also, the following Miami radio stations will be doing show ticket giveaways starting Monday, Aug. 16:

    - WMIB, 103.5 The Beat
    - WPOW, Power 96
    - WHYI, Y-100
    - WEDR, 99 Jamz
    - WZTA, 94.9 Zeta
    - WPYM, Party 93.1
    - WRTO, Salsa 98.3

    Parking: Approach AmericanAirlines Arena via I-95 (north or south. Follow the exit signs for AmericanAirlines Arena. Look for signs directing you to the appropriate parking lots. Traffic officers will guide you to all available parking.

    Dress Code: MTV says, "Be creative."

    On TV: Tune in to the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards broadcast live on Sunday, August 29, 2004 @ 8 p.m. ET.

    Restaurant Week: Get dinner and dessert at popular Miami restaurants for only $8.29 from Monday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 29. For a list of participating restaurants and more information, visit www.ci.miami.fl.us.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 25

Mynt
1921 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786/276-6132, www.myntlounge.com
MTV will invade Mynt from midnight to closing with DJs, surprise appearances, prizes, giveaways and a chance to win tickets to MTV's VMA block parties later in the week (see below), as well as a shot at hitting Miami's newest jackpot -- tickets into the big show Sunday. Cover charge is $20.

THURSDAY

VMA Takeover at CocoWalk
3015 Grand Ave., Miami, 305/444-0777, www.cocowalk.com
The streets surrounding CocoWalk will be closed to traffic today so you and your pals can drool over pimped-out celebrity cars like the ones seen on MTV's Pimp My Ride. The network and Coconut Grove will also host a free outdoor event from 5 to 9 p.m. featuring national and local DJs near CocoWalk's front fountain and main courtyard. The X-ecutioners, Maceo (of De la Soul), DJ Cipha Sounds, Rob Dinero and DJ Irie will perform. A lucky few attendees will win tickets to the VMAs. If for some reason you can't find the party, look for the 30-foot moon man created by local artist Robert Chambers and Miami Dade College students.

The CocoWalk Gap, meanwhile, is offering the first 400 people to buy a regular-priced pair of jeans between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. today the chance to have them personalized by Gap's traveling team of style experts. The first 200 customers will have the chance to star in a fake Gap ad.

FRIDAY

Virgin Megastore
5701 Sunset Drive, South Miami, 305/665-4445, www.virginmegamagazine.com
Ever wonder what you might say to Miami's smokin' rapper Pitbull if you were face-to-face with him? Well, start thinking of something, because he'll be singing and signing in a free show at the Virgin Megastore from 4 to 6 p.m. in Sunset Place. But think of how jealous your hip-hop-obsessed crew will be when they hear you also got an up-close glimpse of the Ying Yang Twins before their VMA performance. It's enough to make you want to shake it like a saltshaker.

Sagamore
1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305/535-8088 www.sagamorehotel.com
Work it, flip it and reverse it from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Sagamore while Adidas and Us Weekly host an old-school barbecue in honor of Missy Elliott.

VMA Block Party