As an Ultra Music Festival veteran, this was the fourth year attending Miami’s biggest party. With DJs and music lovers from all over the world flying into downtown Miami to rage and party for three consecutive days. Hearing unreleased music, seeing unbelievable performances, surprise special guests and collaborations performances as well. Completing its 18th Year Anniversary — you would think the creators of Ultra would have done it all. Guess again, at this year’s Ultra Music Festival it was the best one the editor’s of EDM Sauce have ever been to.
Besides the incredible sets that we witnessed, lets not forget about the magnificent stages that the wonderful production people built, especially the transcendent Resistance Spider Stage by Arcadia. Catching the best Techno and House DJ in the world such as Maceo Plex, Joseph Capriati, and Seth Troxler. Being surrounded by other techno and house lovers was like being back in an underground secret rave, like the old days. Instead of getting squished in like a sardine at the Carl Cox Stage or upfront at the MainStage you actually have room to dance and shuffle around. The stage is set up from the center, platforms jut out with metallic tree-like sculptures rising from each extremity. Watching smoke billowing out from it’s spidey legs, and over the top of the DJ booth, creating the illusion of that creepy smoldering image. On the stroke of 8:30PM the Resistance Spider comes alive as he shoots out flames projecting massive amounts of heat, which wasn’t so greatest idea in a hot climate.
The weather that weekend was almost perfect, the weather was hot, and mostly dry. Sunday was the only day that it rained, to be completely honest it was an refreshing cool-down from the heat and sun. No storms! Just a little rain, which wasn’t too bad. The food was just like any other food you’ve ate at an festival, this year Ultra Music Festival brought it food trucks from all over the Florida state. From Mexican to American food your tummy was satisfied.
The MainStage was impressive as usual, props to the electrician engineer who controlled the light shows! The stage blew away everyones expectations, as always the MainStage was very crowded — having all of the headliners perform their epic sets.
The 7UP! stage was a complete hidden gem. If you had the opportunity to experience the stage you were lucky. A small handful of festival goers were allowed onto the stage a time, right next to the DJ. The bass was incredible, creating a truly unique experience.
The layout of the festival was however the same as the last few years, except for the fact that there were more stages added. Compared to three stages now there were nine stages this year, there were a few pros and cons about that. No matter what stage you were at whether it be at the World Wide Stage, Live Stage, or even the MainStage you can always here at least two or more acts performing. Ultra Music Festival’s location at Bayfront Park and having to shutdown the heart of downtown Miami can get a little congested and overwhelming especially when exiting the festival. Contrary to popular belief, the crowd at Ultra was full of nothing but happy people. Everyone was respectful and truly there to share the experience with one another. Even crammed by the Main Stage or at the Megastructure, everyone was there with a smile on their face.
The festival was full of surprises. Carnage even brought out the one and only DJ Khaled and Wiz Khalifa to shock the crowd. Deadmau5 slipped in with a surprise performance Saturday night to fill in for The Prodigy. “It was for the right people this time, sending them well wishes” – Deadmau5.
A State of Trance (ASOT) made for the perfect Sunday. Ben Gold and MaRLo started off the day with a bang, Andrew Rayel drew a massive crowd, and Markus debuted a slew of new music from his ‘Watch The World’ coming in April. With the internet feud between Armin and Deamau5 over trance, we knew Joel would have something up his sleeve. He start off his set with a bang by blasting death metal. To be honest, it took everyone a few minutes to realize what was actually happening. In true Trollmau5 form, he topped off his set with more head banging music to really make his statement. Shortly after, Prydz fans filled the arena wall to wall and then some. Everyone knew they were guaranteed an amazing set by Pryda and he did not disappoint, packing in grade A production and fresh new music. Topping it all off, Armin played a 2 hour trance set that blew everyone away. He managed to play the classics while throwing in some major tracks meant for a festival stage. Overall the entire day was magical.
Top 5 Favorite Sets at UMF 2016
- Eric Prydz
- Armin van Buuren ASOT
- Riche Hawtin
- Seth Troxler
Writen By: Alexa Smith & Meagen Surowiecki