This year's Ultra Music Festival was filled with unexpected thrills, experiences, and surprises. As many of you may know, this year's event was unlike any other; with its new location, Virginia Key, and new transportation methods, such as shuttles and ferry transport, we weren't sure how everything was going to be like. Luckily, EDM Sauce was able to experience all that the festival had to offer. Here is our official Ultra Music Festival 2019 EDM Sauce Review.
First, to start things off, we are going to be talking about transportation. Going onto the shuttles each day of the festival was quite a breeze. Yes, there were lines to get onto the shuttles, but when isn't there one? Thankfully, it was quite speedy to get onto them. The shuttle ride went smoothly when reaching the festival. There was a bit of traffic, but one of the biggest parts of Miami is the well-known bumper to bumper traffic. With one way in and one way out of Virginia Key, it was sure to happen. Miami Law Enforcement and Ultra coordinators helped immensely when guiding shuttles and cars to their destination. They handled the traffic phenomenally. Every attendee arrived safely to the festival.
The return back was a different story during Day 1. As many of you know, there was an incident that occurred when getting onto the shuttles to return home. Thousands of people were crowding the shuttles, fighting for their lives just to get home. Then, a fire surprisingly started, leading police to warn attendees to walk across the Virginia Key bridge. Some people, including I, had to walk miles and miles after that just to get to our shuttle locations. Uber and Lyft services weren't working either, so there was no choice but to walk. At the time, it was frustrating to experience that kind of dilemma, but, fortunately, Ultra Music Festival coordinators handled the situation well after all that.
After the whole incident occurred, Ultra made some changes. Not only was the festival postponed to end at 3 am instead of 2 am, but security was also then trained to handle the shuttle situation differently. Fireworks were also limited to prevent another fire from occurring, and a few street lanes were closed to dedicate them to the shuttles and taxis that would come to pick up attendees after the festival. The return home each day after Day 1 ran smoothly. This spectacular event surely picked itself back up again and we were impressed.
The venue was certainly a lot bigger than expected. There was a large amount of space for attendees to walk. Two areas were made for the whole festival. First, there was the main stage area, which held the Main Stage, the Live Arena, the Worldwide Stage, and the UMF Radio stage. In this part of the event, you were able to enjoy the great sounds of house, trap, dubstep, future bass, and so much more. Lights were shining brilliantly and there was music blasting everywhere. Remarkably, there were many great performances to witness here.
The second area was the Resistance Island Area. Here held stage platforms such as Resistance Island, the Carl Cox Megastructure, Resistance Oasis, and Resistance Reflector. This area was meant for those who loved the sounds of techno. The stages were created incredibly with powerful LED lights. There was no way that you didn't have fun at this part of the festival.
Genuinely, the only downfall about these two areas is that they were so far away from each other. The walk to each area was about 20 to 30 minutes. If you were expecting to see a performance that was in the opposite area of where you were at, then you had to make sure to start heading over there at least 45 minutes before it. Many times, I would have to question myself as to whether it was worth making that huge walk to one area to only have to come back to see another particular artist. It was definitely something worth pondering about. Fortunately, the areas were worth the walk due to the impeccable stage platforms and insane performances.
Foods and Drinks
There was a variety of foods and drinks that were for sale at the festival. You were able to purchase almost anything you can imagine, such as poke bowls, peanut noodles, burgers, fries, chicken tenders, turkey legs, and so much more. There was also a variety of drinks sold, such as alcoholic beverages, sodas, smoothies, and juices. The prices were a bit expensive, but you have to remember that food and drinks at music festivals usually are. Thankfully, you were eating great food that was worth the price. If you were looking for something sweet to eat after devouring that delicious food, then you definitely had to purchase an ice cream popsicle from King of Pops. They certainly had some insane flavors that you had to try at least once there. Not only were they delicious, but they were reasonable too! Four dollars for a popsicle was undeniably worth it.
The only issue with the food was that there weren't many vegan options available. For next year's event, they should try to incorporate more of that. Many attendees at the festival were unable to eat much due to their dietary restrictments. Hopefully, there will be more vegan options for next year.
Now, the most important part of any festival is the marvelous performances that go along with it. Many of the biggest names in dance music performed at this incredible event, such as Armin Van Buuren, Zedd, Afrojack, Fedde Le Grand, Nicky Romero, and David Guetta. There was also a special performance by Deadmau5 with his new stage platform, Cube 3.0. Each artist gave it their all. The stage visuals and LED lights surely complimented their sets. Honestly, I can say that there was not a single performance that was unable to reach attendee's expectations. Truly, they all blew everyone out of the water with their sets.
Overall, Ultra Music Festival remains known as one of the biggest music festivals for a reason. Even with all the issues that may have occurred at the event, they were still able to put on a great show. Obviously, nothing is stopping this music festival from staying at the top of the electronic dance music scene. We can't wait to see what is in store for next year's event.
Stay tuned for news on Ultra Music Festival 2020.