Miami's Ultra Music Festival - the inthemix round-up

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All’s quiet now in Miami after a near-month-long marathon of parties, extortionist VIP areas and sunburned skin. The final weekend of March saw Ultra Music Festival and its fleet of ‘exclusive’ acts cram over 150,000 bodies into Bicentennial Park over the course of three days. Meanwhile, the Swedish House Mafia’s breakaway show on Miami’s South Beach, Masquerade Motel, also sold out its vast 15,000-capacity tent – but we’ll get to that later…

With one of the most bombastic dance music line-ups you’ll find anywhere in the world, Ultra has well and truly outgrown the Winter Music Conference. The decision to move WMC to the 8-12 March did nothing to stop Ultra’s momentum, with the festival sold out 34 days in advance. Six stages were spread across the Park in downtown Miami to accommodate all the superstar names, with every corner of the site thoroughly rammed.

Over the weekend, inthemix was closely watching the updates from Miami, including an entertaining blog on the Miami New Times that included such journalistic pearls as this summary from Underworld’s Saturday night slot: “Ideally, I’d give you details, set highlights, etc. But the fact is, it was the kind of show you get swept up in. Plus, I might’ve been a little fucked up by 10pm last night.” Here’s what else we picked up from the scribes on the ground…

The mainstage on Friday got going with crowd-pleasers like Fedde Le Grand and Benny Benassi, before taking a diversion via ‘80s pop survivors Erasure and Duran Duran. “When we got here the music was really, really loud and really banging,” Erasure leader Andy Bell told the Los Angeles Times. “I was thinking, how we were going to fit in with this violence? Also, the audience is very young.”

It’s little surprise that Erasure’s performance wasn’t a galvanising moment of the festival, but it’s clear the kids still want Tiësto. The Dutchman closed the mainstage with a typically arena-sized set including his collaboration with countryman Hardwell, Zero 76, Mark Knight hook-up Beautiful World and a new remix of Kanye West’s Lost In The World. Textbook Tijs.

In a recent interview, Ultra co-founder Russell Faibisch remarked that he was most excited about seeing the Carl Cox & Friends Arena in action – a “two-storey mega-structure” custom-built for the festival. French maestro Laurent Garnier opened the arena on Friday with a four-hour live/DJ set, before Loco Dice took over to a heaving dancefloor.

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Weqster said on the 29th Mar, 2011

Interesting read :) Seems like WMC is a seasons worth of Ibiza in one sitting.


daverh said on the 29th Mar, 2011

Textbook Tijs! Classic.


damdamodam said on the 30th Mar, 2011

shame about the SHM gig - i read on their website they were encouraging people to come early - pre 5pm & tickets were cheaper also . . . could have been something to do with that. A bargain for this line-up @ $55 - If you got in..!


thesuntoucher said on the 30th Mar, 2011

Sounds truly epic. Man I wish I could have been there.


Durls said on the 31st Mar, 2011

putting coins in piggy bank ready for next yr


DANCINGDI said on the 3rd Apr, 2011

Not one of the Djs I would have wanted to see was mentioned :lol:


Shall said on the 5th Apr, 2011

Simply Awesome. Carl Cox and Friends tent which then turned into ASOT 500 on the Sunday, was definitely the place to be! Moby's set on the Saturday was definitely Set of the entire Ultra Festival though! Followed closely by Alex Morph and Cosmic Gate on the Sunday. Production out of this world, crowd better behaved than Sydney festivals.. but the downside was that entire site was a logistical nightmare at times! All in all well worth it though! Would do it again! Miami is definitely Party Capital.


Joffa said on the 5th Apr, 2011

im still absolutely speechless, i heard the phrase "best day of my life" on a number of occasions.


RaVeR_SpIkE said on the 9th Apr, 2011

i so have to go this later on in life

The Haze

The Haze said on the 15th Oct, 2011

Went to Ultra last year and had a blast! Got my tix for Ultra next year and It's going to the party of my life :)
For anyone wishing to make the pilgrimage I would advise to buy a ticket ASAP as there's rumors that all tickets are nearly gone.
Unfortunately there are also rumors that there will be NO single day tickets....pity, considering the ridiculous price tag for 3 days