Ultra Music Festival is over, but we still aren’t over it.
Ever heard of post-festival depression? You know, that unforgiving life-sucking feeling when you realize you won’t be hopping to another stage, tomorrow’s Monday, and reality kicks in. It’s not fun.
While the sun may have set on Ultra 2018, the weekend was one for the books, quite literally. A staggering 165,000 attendees from over 60 countries flooded Bayfront Park for the festival’s 20th anniversary, while over 30 million viewers tuned into the live stream. Ultra was also the #1 trending topic on social media platforms worldwide over the festival weekend, and remarkably, the most tweeted about electronic music event in history.
Check out the official recap video below to reminiscence, and for those who didn’t attend, a little taste of what went down:
Apart from an array of artists ranging from massive headliners to rising producers, and genres from dubstep to techno, Ultra had a few special surprises for its 20th anniversary.
Swedish House Mafia reunited for a highly anticipated performance, after a five-year hiatus, closing out the festival with a sense of nostalgia and bittersweet emotion. On the other end of the park, Above & Beyond graced the ASOT stage for a euphoric set that had fans reeling. Will Smith even made a special appearance during Marshmello’s set to perform a thrilling rendition of his hit song “Miami.” The candy-clad producer also brought on Slushii, Yo Gotti, G-Eazy and Lil Uzi Vert during his Saturday main stage set.
Revered for its forward-thinking stage designs, Ultra outdid itself in celebration of its 20th anniversary.
The main stage was lined with LED panels in a sleek futuristic style, resembling a vortex of sorts, breathtaking in size and spectacle. Superstar producers like Tiesto, DJ Snake, Hardwell and Armin Van Buuren were just a few of the big names to play on the main stage.
The Megastructure was astounding as well, with carefully constructed lighting rigs creating a dazzling wormhole effect. While Sunday was home to Armin Van Buuren’s “A State Of Trance,” with fan-favorite artists like Eric Prydz, Vini Vici and Armin himself, Carl Cox’s RESISTANCE took over Friday and Saturday, featuring phenomenal 2 hour closing sets from Cox, and performances from techno heavy-hitters like Adam Beyer, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex and a rare b2b2b from Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber and Paco Osuna.
RESISTANCE’s second stage, the Arcadia Spider, also made a welcome return to the festival. The sprawling industrial spider, complete with moving limbs, shot sharp lasers out of its eyes and featured sensational pyrotechnics. Pete Tong, Hot Since 82 and Sasha & John Digweed were a few of the names to play the Spider, but we would be amiss not to mention the show-stopping 4 hour Sunday closing set from supergroup J.E.S.u.S, comprised of Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream and Seth Troxler.
A 180 degree architectural marvel, the Worlwide stage was home to artists like RL Grime, What So Not, Laidback Luke, Flosstradamus, Rezz, and featured a special 2-hour b2b performance from NGHTMRE and Slander.
Beyond the larger-than-life festivities, the organizers did a great job ensuring safe and smooth operations all weekend. Working closely with local, state and federal authorities, the festival took security very seriously. The number of arrests dropped to an all-time low, continuing the trend of declining arrests for the 5th consecutive year, according to the Miami Herald.
All in all, Ultra Music Festival’s 20th anniversary was a grand success. Organizers already announced dates for next year’s edition, taking place on March 29, 30, 31 2019. We are curious and excited to see how the festival will top its stunning 20th anniversary, so naturally, we are counting down the days to be back in Miami.