Fireworks, pyrotechnics, lasers, giant jumbotrons, massive deafening speakers: #ULTRA20 did not fall short — with an epic lineup and unforgettable performances.
As an #ULTRA noob, I had no idea what to expect. I had seen pictures and videos, but none of that will ever truly encapsulate the exceptional essence of the Ultra Music Festival on BayFront Park in Miami. I dived head first into the virtual insanity and loved every second of it!
Day 1, I explored — and I was a kid in a candy store. I didn’t know where to start, I didn’t know where to go next. The Main Stage looked like a time travel portal from another dimension, I felt like I was going light speed in Star Wars!
The ASOT Mega Structure was also out of this world, like a space ship, with moving mechanical structures.
The Worldwide Stage was like nothing I have ever seen — a half pipe or something from Sonic the Hedgehog! And the way it illuminated! I have never seen anything like that stage, it was so cool to be under there.
But the stages became an afterthought — because in the end — it’s all about the music. The line up was absurd. You knew this was going to be a monumental festival.
There were just too many great artists. I was so divided!
Armin Van Buuren has been one of my favorite DJs since I was a teenager, so I was just amped to see him on such a huge stage (Check out the vids above!)
Empire of the Sun had some sound issues off the top, but you know how they do. Nothing was going to stop them from putting on a performance. Jumping in the crowd, crashing guitars, incredible costumes with extremely strange, yet awesome, dance routines. It was a fun show!
Flosstradamus was easily my favorite. Just so much energy with that crowd. It was electric. Kids head banging and dancing their tails off — completely amped. The Worldwide stage was the perfect setting, this was one of my favorites from the weekend.
I was on a mission to see Tiesto. He’s my favorite DJ. I was going to be in the front. Not in the press area. I wanted to be in the mix of it! The only way I thought that was possible — go early to the Main Stage and just wait it out! I thought I was prepared. I was not!
Alan Walker was an absolute treat. His hit “Faded” never gets old to me, so just hearing that alone, made the hour set worth it to me.
Also, Steve Aoki made an appearance during Walker's set! He was a ton of fun, getting everyone excited (AND...Aoki retweeted me :D)
Jauz isn’t really my style — talented dude, no doubt. But his music is intense. And my goodness, I had no idea how insane the #sharksquad was — moshing, fighting, shoving, pushing. I WOULD NOT BE MOVED. My body really paid for it, but I was excited I made it through his set without passing out or breaking anything, LOL!
Enough said. It was everything I wanted and more. He played it all — new, old. I literally cried when I heard the first notes of “Adagio for Strings”… I CRIED. He’s just classic. He was one of the ones who got me into the electronic scene and seeing him on this scale, it just gave me all the feels. Battling through the #sharksquad was 100% worth it.
OH yeah -- and Marshmello made an appearance during Tiesto's set!
After that I just was kind of done. But bounced around to Jamie Jones, Cedric Gervais, and TCHAMI X MALAA — they were also amazing! Day 2 was probably my favorite. Had such a ridiculous time on the Main Stage.
I needed my trance in my life! So I spent the early part of the day at the ASOT Megastructure. Andrew Rayel, Paul Oakenfold, Vini Vici & Armin Van Buren took me back in time, playing so many old trance hits. I did have tears a few times…. lol… promise I am not a crybaby. Just was so moving to see such legends up there, playing the music from my youth.
I closed out my #ULTRA weekend on the Main Stage. Kaskade & David Guetta were just killing it. The crowds for them were massive. Just so huge, people as far as the eye could see. I actually was so impressed by Guetta. He just seemed so happy up there, he was enjoying himself so much. You could just feel his joy and ecstasy. He told us he was one of his best crowds ever — he literally left his heart on that stage.
The mystery final set — Swedish House Mafia. They elevated the stage at least 50 feet. They had a mirror above the group, so you could see what they were doing from this insane perspective. There was an incredibly emotional video put up on the jumbotrons showing the group from their younger years having fun -- evolving into adults.
I mean look at this stage tho.... C'mon!
What else can I say? It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I remember being a teen, listening to electronic stations and they'd always talk about this ULTRA Music Fest.
It was like a mystical land, a paradise that I thought I'd never know. Just a fairy tale I dreamt about.
I just kept putting it off -- and then the next thing you know -- the 20th anniversary fest comes up before you know it, and you just know it's now or never.
So many incredible performances, but for me seeing the legends Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Paul Oakenfold -- it was life-changing.
The DJs I listened to and cherished as a teen and in my early 20s! I remember staring at the ceiling, lying in bed, while their music took me to another world -- and here they were -- right in front of me. It was truly magical.
If you're an electronic fan, I just have one question for you -- what are you waiting for? Go. You will not regret a second of it.