In a market as saturated as music festivals, it takes a lot to stand out. Stages grow in size and spectacle and lights and lasers refract in the ever expanding smoke plumes of spent pyrotechnics, but there’s one universal standard of measure: the lineup.
It helps if you have an established name and brand like Ultra Music Festival (UMF), but that only takes you so far. In order to remain relevant and attractive enough that consumers new and old are willing to part with their hard-earned money and opt for your festival over the countless others, continuous evolution is needed. The people behind UMF are set to deliver the next chapter in what could be their crowning achievement by bringing not one, but two of the earliest pioneers in EDM to downtown Miami: The Prodigy (most of you remember them from middle school with their hits Firestarter and Smack My Bitch Up) and Pendulum (from which Knife Party sprang). Two groups who paved the way decades ago and laid the foundation upon which the modern EDM scene could be built and flourish. Rabbit the moon, who performed at the first iteration of Ultra that took place on the sands of Miami Beach back in 1999 will also return to lay down psy trance, breakbeats and their take on house music.
I’ve mentioned before how great I think it is that electronic music festivals are starting to incorporate live stages and what that brings to a set, so I was pleased to see Ultra will be following suit and hosting some incredible names on their LIVE stage. Besides The Prodigy and Pendulum, you can expect to see Chet Faker (multiple collaborations with Flume and a great talent in his own right) and Purity Ring (a Canadian duo whose music defies classification) doing their thing.
The organizers also seemed to learn from debacles of year’s past in trying to accommodate all-ages at a Miami rave. This year will be 18+ and while I still consider 18 year old’s children, I don’t foresee 21+ happening so I’ll take what I can get. In its seventeenth year, Ultra seems to have just about everything figured out besides the inevitable traffic nightmare, but that’s not really their logistical jurisdiction. Here are some highlights from the phase one lineup announcement:
Mainstage mainstays that you could expect like Kaskade, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Tiesto and Zedd.
Up and comers like Alunageorge (featured on Jack U and Disclosure collaborations), Chainsmokers, DVBBS and andhim.
People you might not’ve heard of but should check out – Duke Dumontand, Andrew Rayel and Sam Feldt.
Classic veteran DJs like Fedde Legrand, Guy Gerber and the maestro of live mixing Laidback Luke.
Thomas Jack, the king of tropical house.
Tchami, who gave the best performance of TomorrowWorld 2015.
Local legends like Seth Troxler and the Martinez brothers and more.
As always, there will be something for every taste and preference of electronic music genre and subgenre. You’ll come to see your favorites and end up finding new acts to fall in love with along the way.
Early birds and payment plan ticket options have sold out, advanced tickets are flying and as soon as those are gone, the only thing left will be regular GA and VIP at $349.95 and $1249.95 respectively. Get your tickets here now.