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26 March 2014

How to make the most of Ultra Music Festival

Illustration by Sarbani Ghosh

Illustration by Sarbani Ghosh

Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is just around the corner.  If you’re lucky enough to have scored a three-day pass, you should take advantage of your ticket.

The Miami Hurricane has put together some tips to make the most out of your experience.

Stay informed

UMF has an application available for download for your phone or tablet. It features key information, including a site map, lineup times and news. Need to get in touch with friends? The app also has a “Group Me” function for you to be able to create groups with your buddies and stay in contact.

Dress accordingly

Ravers usually like to dress with the fewest amounts of clothing possible, but be sure to check the forecast for the day before getting your gear ready. Prepare for rain or shine. Pack a poncho to stay dry (seriously, put a small one in your neon fanny pack – nothing looks worse than daises stained with mud) or wear sunblock to avoid that awkward tan. Take some toilet paper (like a miniature portable roll – sold at local drug stores) in case you need to use the restroom and the port-a-potties are all out (which they always are).

Stay smart

UMF welcomes thousands of people during the three days. Though additional cellphone towers have been implemented on festival grounds in the past, service is scarce. Demand for the charging stations (at select locations in the park) can get pretty high as the day goes on. Be sure to memorize a few of your friends’ numbers and have a designated meeting place in case someone strays from your crowd. Once you’re lost at Ultra, you might not see each other again until the end of the night.

Take cash

While many vendors accept credit cards, it’s important to take cash to pay for the Metro ride or for drinks and food. There’s nothing worse than going up to buy a bottle of water and realizing the vendor doesn’t take your Platinum Amex.

Keep your eyes open

Numerous DJs (even if they aren’t on the lineup) and celebrities attend this event, so keep your eyes peeled. In the past, celebrities like Paris Hilton, Slash (from Guns N’ Roses) and Madonna have made appearances. DJs and celebrities share special bonds, so don’t be surprised if any of the headliners comes out to play with a random celebrity.

Also, don’t disregard the smaller stages. DJs originally not on the lineup have been known to play sets on less popular stages (like Skrillex, who performed at the small UMF radio stage in 2012). So make time to welcome the newer, emerging DJs.

Arrive late, leave early 

Run on Miami time to avoid wasting time. Purchase your Metro card before Friday to avoid long lines Friday afternoon. Get to the site about two to four hours after the event has started to avoid an unnecessary lengthy and crowded commute. Leave a bit earlier than the last sets finish to avoid a longer trip back home – Miami’s Metro Rails are often delayed due to the high number of travelers this weekend.

Want to know more?

The Miami Hurricane will be covering Ultra Music Festival – for updates, follow @MiamiHurricane on Twitter, or pick up Monday’s paper for additional photos and coverage.

Still don’t have a ticket? Tickets to the event are still available at ultramusicfestival.com. Visit the site for links to all of its social media outlets.

Can’t make it to Ultra?

View the live stream on youtube.com/user/UMFTV or listen to UMFRadio at umfradio.com.