Ultra Music Festival wins approval to hold second weekend in 2013

On Thursday 10 December, The Miami City Commission voted on whether Ultra Music Festival would be allowed to hold its proposed second weekend on March 22, 23 and 24, 2013. After a lengthy meeting, the Commission decided that Ultra could hold two weekends for this year only (Ultra will have to address the Committee again in 2014), with strict guidelines including a $500,000 payment to the City for police and fire services.

City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff argued that one of his central concerns was Ultra – which he likened to “Woodstock in the centre of the city” – putting tickets on sale for the 22-24 March weekend before approval was granted. Ultra representative Brian May addressed the Committee, speaking about how the event – celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2013 – has grown over its life. He argued that Ultra is important to the city of Miami’s ‘brand’ and provides economic uplift to downtown businesses, including hotels and restaurants. May predicted 300,000 people through the gates over six days in 2013 and $150 million generated for the local economy (in 2012, that figure was put at $79 million).

The push to keep the second weekend of Ultra intact gathered impassioned support from scene identities like Tommie Sunshine and even Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh, who Tweeted, “I’m very disappointed in Miami, I was at Ultra last year and it breathed life into a dead downtown.” A petition supporting Ultra’s move spearheaded by blogger EDM Snob received over 8,000 signatures.

“Personally, I think one weekend is enough,” Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado told The Miami Herald ahead of the Commission meeting. “We understand that we have to accommodate all festivals, but two weekends with street closures would collapse downtown. Plus, people complain about the kids.”

Taking over Miami each March, Ultra Music Festival has grown into a colossus. In 2012, the festival brought over 165,000 punters to downtown Miami across the weekend, with one of the most bombastic dance music line-ups you’ll find anywhere in the world. 2013 is the first year that Ultra proposed two separate three-day festival weekends to accommodate demand. “This is a unique concept from anything ever done before in our space, as it will be two weekends…two unique experiences,” said the festival’s co-founder Russell Faibisch upon making the announcement.

Ultra’s Phase 1 line-up for 2013 is a monster, led by none other than Deadmau5, returning to festivals after an extended hiatus. Among the attractions are Armin van Buuren staging the A State Of Trance 600 arena, Carl Cox and Friends returning, plus the live shows of Booka Shade, Boys Noize, The Bloody Beetroots and Hot Chip. Then of course there are Ultra’s returning drawcards like Tiesto, Avicii and David Guetta. Check out all the names below – and expect much more to come.

Ultra Music Festival 2013 Phase 1 line-up:


Above & Beyond


Armin van Burren



Calvin Harris

Carl Cox

David Guetta

Fatboy Slim


Knife Party

Richie Hawtin

Swedish House Mafia


Live Acts:

The Bloody Beetroots

Booka Shade

Boys Noize

Crystal Castles



DJ Fresh (Live)

Hot Chip

Major Lazer

Matt & Kim



Thievery Corporation



A State Of Trance 600 Arena

Carl Cox and Friends Arena

Mixmag Arena

Space Ibiza