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My First Experience at Ultra Music Festival 2018

My First Experience at Ultra Music Festival 2018

In the middle of March where I live (in the Midwest), we get hit with snow and freezing weather. What better way to escape the bitter cold than to make a trip to Miami? After seeing the phase one lineup for Ultra Music Festival drop in December, I was set on attending this festival. UMF was going to be the biggest festival that I had ever attended.

When I arrived in Miami during Miami Music Week (MMW), I immediately felt all the beach and rave vibes across the entire city.There were shows all day and night starting the Tuesday before UMF. I was lucky enough to make it to some MMW events, such as Purple Haze & Dakota, Kaskade’s Sunsoaked, and Above & Beyond’s Common Ground. I was pumped I made it to so many shows and I still hadn’t even made it to the main event.

UMF Attendees during Kaskade Sun Soaked During Miami Music Week 2018

Once Friday came around, the craziness began. As my first UMF, I wanted the full experience from beginning to end so I made sure to get in line before gates opened. Counting down the minutes until doors open was suspenseful and I could sense the excitement in everyone all around me.

When 4 pm came around, the lines finally began moving and the music started blasting. Slowly but surely, I began making my way in. Once inside, the sights of the massive stages were breathtaking. The Worldwide Stage, to the right by the entrance, was a giant arch - unlike any other stage I’ve seen before.

Worldwide stage in the afternoon during Ultra Music Festival 2018

Photocredit: Ultra Music Festival


A few steps away from the Worldwide stage was the massive Megastructure, a dome-like stage that featured the brands, RESISTANCE, for techno fans for the first two days, and A State of Trance, on the final day of Ultra. The Worldwide stage had all the visuals. From moving screens to lasers, it was definitely one of my favorite places to be at during Ultra, especially this year where they took a step further and turned the stage into a Megavortex.

Resistance stage at Ultra Music Festival

Photocredit: Ultra Music Festival


A little away from both the Megastructure and Worldwide stage was the Live Stage, a smaller but definitely an underrated stage that was perfect for artists who brought their own production, such as Virtual Self.

Close to the Live Stage, there was a pathful that was loaded with tons of food vendors and food trucks to satisfy all and any of my cravings, The food vendors stretched all the way until it reached the UMF Radio stage. This stage was set on a slanted hill that was perfect for taking a quick break while lying in the grass.

All the way on the opposite side of Bayfront Park was the infamous Arcadia Spider stage, one of the most unique stages I’ve seen taking the form of a massive spider, with the DJ playing right inside the heart of the spider itself. This stage was fit for all the techno lovers and basically anyone who wanted to dance the day and night away.

Arcadia Spider Stage At Ultra Music Festival

Photocredit: Ultra Music Festival


Last but not least, behind the Arcadia Spider was the massive Mainstage. Every year, the Mainstage gets an updated look and getting to see this stage in person was breathtaking: this year’s Mainstage featured enormous LED panels left and right and extended all the way in between. Every so often tons of confetti would shootout along bursts of fire as well as beautiful fireworks. The mainstage was definitely one of my highlights, the energy of the crowd there was amazing and overall production was out of this world.

Ultra Music Festival was unlike any other festival experience I’ve had before. For the first time, I was able to experience techno music live while in Miami and at UMF especially with the RESISTANCE branded stages and the Arcadia Spider, with some of my favorite techno sets being Carl Cox and the Cirez D b2b Adam Beyer afterparty.

Rave girl in velvet white rave mini skirt and hologramcriss cross halter top

House music was also very prominent at Ultra; everywhere I looked, people were cutting shapes and shuffling. It was an amazing experience jumping into a group of shuffling ravers and getting to dance with them and trade kandi. Some of my favorite house sets included JOYRYDE, Oliver Heldens, and many other artists I got to see for the first time.

I’m a fan of all genres of EDM, so Ultra was perfect for me: from trap to trance and everything in between, I was able to see artists of all different genres. My first Ultra Music Festival exceeded my expectations: it was an adventure full of firsts and an overall vibe unlike any of the past festivals I’ve gone to. I met so many great people and was surprised by how many people from all across the world from various countries made their journey to Ultra. My first trip to Miami was a memorable one that I will never forget. I will be back in Miami for Ultra Music Festival in the years to come!



TAGS: Katherine Xu ,



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