Expectations for Ultra were more than exceeded this weekend. The festival was one wild journey for participants and audience members alike.
However, not everything bounced in synch with the techno beats.
It is absolutely mind boggling how many people attended. It was easy to get lost in the crowd for hours on end, never really being able to find your way out, and if you lost your friends, it was nearly impossible to find them again. If you plan to go next year, I recommend picking a spot together to meet up so that you don’t end up shouting on the phone trying to figure out which one of the “green Heineken tents” you should stand by.
On a positive note, I have never been in such a happy environment. The mindset of rave culture brings people together, and everyone was more than willing to share, help out and talk. There were evem groups of people making their own light shows for others’ entertainment. The communal feel made Ultra just that much more impactful. Strangers felt like long lost friends.
Kudos to the city of Miami for adjusting their time schedules and letting the metro run late. Saving money on transportation meant it was possible to afford beverages, no small task since staying hydrated at Ultra means dishing out $5 for water. Hence why lots of attendees bring their own Camelbacks.
The performances themselves were unbelievable. Carl Cox impressed as one of the standout acts. Benny Benassi lit up the crowd. CSS was great, as expected. Duran Duran, however, was definitely an odd card and killed the vibe for a bit at the main stage. I felt like out of all the performers in the genre, there could have been someone much better to perform.
Tiesto was phenomenal, but yet the last half-hour sounded like the same five-minute sound loop on repeat. The light show they put on saved the day though, and as any audience member will atest, it was absolutely incredible. It was hypnotic with all the right elements.
That being said, I’m disappointed in the way Ultra overlapped all the sets. It was nearly impossible to see all the performers you were interested in. But their actual setup, along with all the high-tech equipment they used for visuals, was extremely well done. All in all, this was an event I’m sure no one will forget.
Natasha Tomchin may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.