Nightlife » Special Events

Ultra Music Festival Delivers The Best of EDM

by Jake Resnicow
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

MIAMI - One of the world's largest electronic dance music festivals began on March 15th, drawing over 330,000 revelers across two sold-out weekends. The Ultra Music Festival stretched from noon to midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Mar 15-17 and 22-24), and featured some of the biggest names, including Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, DeadMau5, Calvin Harris and Aviccii.

But if you were not into the big-room mainstream sound, there were hundreds of other acts and DJs to experience. Ultra has seven sound stages all going on at once, featuring nearly every sub-genre including tech-house and deep-house to old-school breaks. At any given time, you could choose from a stage featuring the masterful Tiesto or show-stopping David Guetta with live performers which this year included Snoop Dogg or emerging hip-hop goddess, Azealia Banks.

With additional reporting thanks to Sean Hoffman, here is EDGE's look at the largest growing music festival in the Southeast.

The Future is Now

The demographic of the music festivals has progressively begun to skew younger with all ages (legal) participating. Sporting over-the-top costuming and looks, many attendees have made Ultra a must-attend each year. And there’s no division of gay and straight... They are all there.

Seeing young gays and straights all together on one dance floor hints at the future of dance festivals. Today, kids are coming out at such a young age with an overwhelming acceptance throughout TV and media. There are no longer the social barriers seen years before. Young gays are more comfortable than ever bringing their gay and straight friends out to Ultra.

The New DJ Experience

With dance festivals becoming so mainstream, DJs less and less come to Ultra to showcase all-new tracks and take you on a lengthy musical journey. Instead, each DJ plays a short one-hour set and features tracks their fans already know well. For example, you are guaranteed to hear Swedish House Mafia play "Don’t You Worry Child" and Avicci drop "Levels." It’s much more like going to a Madonna or Lady Gaga concert: You know exactly what tracks they will perform.

"The proliferation of hits has changed the way some artists present their music at Ultra," said Chad Cisneros of Tritonal. "It’s changed from a technology and a fan perspective. They know what to expect. And they know what tracks they want to hear."

Ultra Value

For someone looking to hear the latest of what the electronic scene offers, this is the best outlet to experience it all: A 3-day pass starts at just $149 in advance sales. If you’ve always wanted to hear Tiesto or Avicci live, this is the only ticket you need.

You can go from stage to stage all weekend long and hear it all. All the while, you’re outside under the sun and the stars with fireworks capping off each night.

The production value is some of the best in the world. The massive LED structures, pyrotechnics, and cryo blasts are mind-blowing.

Ultra continues to be a must-visit every March.

For more info, visit


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook