What a crazy weekend Ultra Music Festival was! Miami is one of my favorite cities to visit and it is especially fun during Miami Music Week and Ultra weekend. There are so many events such as pool parties and shows leading up to the weekend of Ultra and it is such an amazing experience finishing the weekend at Ultra. This year was such a different experience with the venue and time change, but it was such an amazing one full of great memories and breathtaking music and production.
This year Ultra took place at a new venue, on the Virginia Key island in Miami. This meant a bit of a change as attendees had to take the shuttles to the venue. However, this also meant a lot more space for the festival! This year, Ultra took place on two parts of the island. The main part of the festival included the mainstage and other small stages such as Worldwide and the Live arena. The mainstage is one of my favorite stages since it’s always massive and got really cool lights and visuals on the screens. Resistance, the techno-branded stage, had a part of the island to itself. This was personally my favorite part of Ultra. Resistance Island was home to my favorite stage, the Megastructure. This huge dome had so many lasers and panels that would move up and down, the production was mind-blowing.
Photo credit: Ultra Music Festival
This part of the festival was also decorated so well, it felt like a completely different festival. There were many places to chill and explore on this part of the island with little decorated huts and many hammocks that people could use. It incorporated aspects of nature, which was something I absolutely loved about Resistance Island. The trek between the two parts of the festival was cool too! There were several screens and panels that displayed the livestream of the festival that people could watch while on the way between Resistance Island and main island. It was cool to see the transition into Resistance Island with all the decorations and lights and when you finally get there, there was the small Arrival Stage blasting with music to greet you.
This year’s lineup was super stacked! With the hours of the festival being extended, this meant more sets and longer sets as well! There were too many amazing artists to pick from but with the longer hours, this meant more time to see my favorite artists as well as discover new ones. Some of my favorite sets at Ultra were Carl Cox, Nicky Romero, deamau5 with his cube 3.0, Odesza, i_o, Ghastly, Martin Garrix, Slander b2b NGHTMRE and many more. One thing about Ultra is that they do an insane job with the production; tons of blinding lasers and lights that sync with the music, pyro, fireworks and much more. One of my favorite sets was deamua5 and his cube. I’ve seen his cube 2.0 before, which already blew me away, but getting to see the cube 3.0 at Ultra and see it rotating was an even crazier experience. The cube was such a massive structure and I couldn’t believe it was moving and that deadmau5 was sitting inside it DJing.
Photo credit: Ultra Music Festival
Mission: Home Initiative
It was cool to see their new initiative Mission: Home that sought to reduce waste and environmental impact at the venue. There were tons of people working on the Leave No Trace initiative and it was heartwarming to see festival-goers take part in that too, by throwing away and picking up trash. This was the cleanest festival that I’ve been to and it was shocking to see how little waste there was on the festival grounds and island! I think it is great that Ultra is taking this step in the festival scene, since festivals can leave such a mess on the venues. I absolutely loved that everyone respected the island.
Miami people definitely know how to party. This is one of the reasons why I love this city so much, especially during MMW and Ultra. Tons of EDM and specifically house and techno lovers were there in Miami with tons of shufflers and people dancing their hearts out; the vibes were amazing. Everyone was having a blast from day till night (and even till the next morning at some afterparties!). Another interesting aspect about Ultra compared to other festivals is that it has such a huge international crowd as well. Tons of people from all over the world are seen repping their country with their flags. It was amazing to see how far people come from to live the experience of Ultra Miami and so fascinating to see how music unites people, no matter where they come from.
Although there was a bit of chaos regarding transportation back home after the festival, Ultra did an outstanding job on improving this issue over the next two days. People got on the shuttles in no more than 15 minutes and it was so well organized given the time crunch. It goes to show how much Ultra cares about the attendees and want the best experience for everyone- this year was definitely one of my favorite festival experience personally!
There was one point during Slander and NGHTMRE’s sunset set where there was a rainbow over the mainstage and it reminded me how beautiful these festival experiences can be! Spending time with amazing people and music is something that I appreciate more and more as I go to more events. It is an amazing opportunity to get to experience different vibes in different cities and see that at festivals. Ultimately, music unites people from all over the world, and I could defintiely see that at Ultra. It was a magical weekend of amazing music and production and I can’t wait to be back again next year to relive it again and make new memories!