The end of March means one thing to Miami students: Ultra.
On March 27-29, it was time yet again to break out our flower headbands, bedazzled bras, kandi and plush boots. This year marks another successful weekend of raving in Bayfront Park, as people from all over the world came together to see over 100 D.J.s perform on eight stages.
The festival brought big names like David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Alesso, Avicii and Calvin Harris, but that is to only name a few. The Main Stage was always the place to be, with its endless display of special effects and its famous U symbol on top. Famous D.J.s like Tiësto, Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero performed on it and brought in a huge crowd. While Ultra-goers realize they are part of a sea of people, they don’t realize just how big that sea is until it takes them a good five minutes just to get out of the massive crowd of fist-pumpers.
The opening day of the festival was greeted with heavy rain, but that did not stop the artists or fans from dancing all night. In fact, most performers took it as an opportunity to get the crowd pumped up by saying, “Raise your hands if you don’t give a f**k about the rain,” and then turning the volume up even higher.
Artists played old music and premiered new songs. Afrojack played one of his famous songs, “Take Over Control,” while French D.J. David Guetta played his hits “Work Hard, Play Hard” and “Titanium.” Skrillex brought back the song “Bangarang,” which was like, “Whoa, throwback to this song.”
Martin Garrix casually brought out Usher for their new song “Don’t Look Down,” and the crowd jammed to Axwell and Ingrosso’s latest hit “On My Way.” The duo also gave audience members a sneak peek of some songs that will be released on their September album. EDM fans went crazy when he closed out the second day with “Don’t You Worry Child,” a tribute to the D.J.’s former group, Swedish House Mafia.
Usher wasn’t the only one to make a guest appearance. Cashmere Cat brought out Ariana Grande at the WorldWide Stage, and Skrillex capped the whole weekend on the Main Stage with Justin Bieber to perform their song “Where Are You Now.”
For freshman Danny Katan, the highlight of Ultra was “definitely the experience of being out there with people who share the same taste of music.” Katan said that he also liked meeting new people and jumping around like crazy during the drop.
Colin Murphy had a similar favorite experience.
“I would say the best part for me was Saturday night when Axwell and Ingrosso were playing ‘Something New,’ and Axwell stopped the song and said, ‘There are people from over 100 different countries here and it looks like you are all getting along just f**king fine,’ and then everybody went nuts and we all just danced looking stupid, but nobody cares ‘cause we were all together,” Murphy said.
You think you’ve seen it all, and then you go to Ultra. This music festival never fails to amaze concertgoers with the weird shit that goes on, especially with the fashion choices. It is common for people’s legs to be the most covered part of their bodies with those ginormous neon plush boots, and for nothing but basically a bra and underwear to serve as the rest of an outfit. Among the most interesting get-ups was a thong with nothing over it but a lace cover up; shorts and nipple petals; and a woman who looked to be in her mid-40s and who ended up completely topless by the end of the Main Stage lineup.
Ultra Music Festival brings EDM fans from all over the world. Some of the countries represented at the festival were Brazil, Canada and Israel. Nothing brings people from different backgrounds, countries, cultures and languages together quite like music.
“It’s like a human connection,” freshman Robert Incorvaia said. “We all feel the same exact things and when you look around, you can easily tell.” He traveled all the way from Cornell just for the weekend. “It’s just so much positive energy that it drowns out reality until the third day comes to a close.”
Apparently the foreigners were very excited to meet people from all over, so they went around introducing themselves to anyone and everyone. Kelly McBride got so tired of the same conversations about who she was and where she was from, that she came up with an alter ego for herself: Annie.
From previous reports of arrests, hospitalizations and injuries, it is no surprise that Ultra is not the safest place in the world and that some parents may be concerned for their kids who are attending. Jenny* spared her mother the worry and did not tell her that she was going. Instead, since it was Palm Sunday, she told her that she was going to church.
Almost everyone who attended the festival this year raved about it – literally. As the exhausted crowd filed out of the venue at the end of the last day, the dates for next year were blown up on the Main Stage screens: March 18, 19 and 20.
See you then, Ultra.
words_lizzie wilcox. photo_yili wu.
Lizzie Wilcox is a freshman majoring in media management and minoring in French. She is from Long Island, New York and loves running, music, yoga and the beach.