Written By Duncan Walgreen, aka Wags
Music Festival is back and is bringing on the heat!
Ultra Music Festival is back and bringing on the heat. The World’s premier electronic music festival landed back home at Bayfront Park, Miami, this past March 2022 for its epic post-pandemic return. Ultra wholeheartedly embodied the magical feeling without missing a beat. Our entire family of electronic music lovers reunited for another truly spectacular show. After three long years from their last show in 2019 at Virginia Key, Ultra’s return to Bayfront Park in Miami was nothing short of historic. Ravers from countries all over the World convened in Miami for the festival’s highly anticipated return.
Ultra Music Festival has come a long way since its inception in 1999 by Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes. The festival began as an outdoor electronic dance music event held on New Year’s Eve at Collins Park Arena, with only 500 people attending. Nowadays, Ultra Miami attracts crowds of over 160,000 annually, including celebrities such as Jay-Z, Madonna, and Will Smith, to name a few. The festival’s 2022 main stage was star-spangled with world-renowned DJs, including David Guetta, Tiesto, and Martin Garrix, as well as hundreds of others and a who’s who of EDM. This year Ultra’s lineup also made way for headliners Illenium, Kygo, and a “Special Guest” appearance by Hardwell to close out the Main Stage!
The Main Stage was undoubtedly full of surprises, which is hard to do when the expectations are always held high – Expect The Unexpected – a slogan Ultra rang the year of Swedish House Mafia’s long-awaited return. Now, let’s be honest, we knew Hardwell was coming to the stage, as nearly every blog had “rumoured” this, but the genuine surprise was the elevation of his sound into the World of future rave and mainstage techno.
Hardwell presented a complete transformation of his music and brand as the special guest headliner to close the Main Stage on Sunday night. Those fortunate enough to attend were delighted with a massive fireworks display and coordinated drone show in the sky.
Ultra Resistance held two stages this year, the Cove and the Resistance: Carl Cox megastructure. The CarlCox Megastructure is a massive tent designed by Ultra’s in-house designer, Richard Millstein, and his team. Resistance known for being the sound of the underground, this year showed yet another significant increase in interest in techno, minimal, and tech house sounds. The Cove, a new Resistance stage concept, featured a label takeover by one of Europe’s fastest-growing techno DJs and his label, Boris Brejcha’s Fcking Serious.
The UMF Radio stage in Miami hosted label takeovers from the likes of STMPD records, Nghtmre & Slander present: Gud Vibrations and Dirty Workz ~ Ultra’s first stage dedicated to Hard Style, presented By Coone.
In our opinion, the most memorable performances from Miami should go to Carl Cox’s Hybrid set, Louis The Child, Pendulum, Madeon, Oliver Tree, DJ Snake, and Claptone.
Rising stars from the weekend included Acraze, John Summit, Michael Bibi, and Redux Saints.
Ultra Music Festival’s Miami has moved around to different venues throughout its history, including Collins Park (1999-2000), Bayfront Park (2001–2005), Bicentennial Park (2006-11), Bayfront Park (2012-18), Virginia Key Beach Park (2019), and finally a return to Bayfront Park in 2022. With support from the city, Ultra could finally renew its contract and sustain its home at Bayfront through 2027. Tickets for the 2203 Miami edition are already on sale, and you can expect another sell-out, so plan now! www.ultramusicfestival.com
ULTRA WORLDWIDE BRINGS BACK THE MAGIC FOR AN EPIC 2022 RETURN IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS!
The Ultra Music Festival Worldwide series is a global event taking place across the World, featuring some of the biggest names in music. This year, Ultra Europe launched in Split, Croatia, from July 8th through the 10th and was mind-blowing. The destination festival attracts a predominantly European yet global audience and is also known for its legendary after-parties. For three more days, festival goers who still had the energy embark on a series of parties on the islands of Hvar, Vis, and Braç.
Whether it’s the multi-genre party at Carpe Diem in Hvar (which featured a takeover by Martin Garrix’s label imprint STMPD Records) or seeing the sunlight peek over the walls of Fort George at the Resistance closing party with Michael Bibi, we can personally vouch and say that the Destination: Ultra Europe travel and party excursion is an absolutely unparalleled experience.
The festival in Split boasted an impressive lineup of artists, including Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Nicky Romero, Tiesto, and many more. We’d like to give a special round of applause to Acraze, Timmy Trumpet, Nicky Romero, and Oliver Heldens, all of which blew our heads off with memorable sets.
Hats off to the UMF Radio Artists: WAGS, who brought the thunder with a classic rock element (also seen closing the Resistance, the masked Pink Panda duo, the talented Slovenian producer Avodox, rising stars Ares Carter, Plastik Funk, Wedamnz, and Croatia’s Dadoo.
Resistance brought on an incredible stage design and atmosphere with an array of lights and lasers that could be seen reflecting on the mountains several kilometres away.
Resistance artists that genuinely deserve a highlight would be Italian stars Joseph Capriati, Illario Allicante, and Marco Carola. The ladies also brought the heat this year. Kudos to Nina Kraviz, Anna, and Amelie Lens for breaking out their relentless sounds. And of course, without a shadow of a doubt, Adam Beyer and Richie Hawtin truly transformed the stage. While some festival goers reported frustrations with acquiring credentials and security at the gates, the experience on the other side was well worth the wait. As a destination festival in one of the most beautiful countries in the World, Ultra Europe was a truly electric experience for the hundred thousand dance music enthusiasts who converged on this Adriatic festival experience.
ROAD TO ULTRA BLASTS OFF: Costa Del Sol will take place on August 20th in Spain and feature performances from Drumcode’s Adam Beyer, The Dirty Dutch legend ~ Afrojack, Future House King: Oliver Heldens, and many more.
Catch a wave in Spain: https://costadelsol.ultrabeach.com/
South America awakens as Road to Ultra Colombia has also been confirmed for October 7th in Medellin. Ultra Music Festival has confirmed they will be hosting Road To Ultra: Peru in Lima the following day, October 8th, for a back-to-back edition. Rumours are beginning to circulate as we anticipate several more event announcements for Ultra in the highly anticipated Asian market this Fall. Ultra has previously established Road to Ultra & Ultra Beach events in China, Bali, the Philippines, Thailand, and India, and even managed to produce Road To Ultra: Taiwan in the Fall of 2020 and full-scale Ultra festivals in South Korea and the recently announced Ultra Japan occurring this September 17th and 18th.
Ultra Japan: https://ultrajapan.com/
Ultra Worldwide has officially returned to the global stage, with shows announced on all continents besides Antarctica. And, of course, Ultra’s mothership festival will be back in Miami on March 24, 25 & 26, 2023! Fans everywhere can rejoice in the return of the World’s premier electronic music festival, and we can only imagine what the Ultra team has in store for this epic comeback.
Ultra WorldWide: https://umfworldwide.com
For complete info on Ultra Music Festival, go to: www.ultramusicfestival.com