Getting this Ultra Music Festival preview post started has been mission impossible. I mean, it’s Ultra 2012, where am I supposed to start? The more time I spend thinking about writing this preview, the more excited for Ultra I get!
With UMF right around the corner, everyone’s making their schedules and planning out their weekend. So I decided why not just write about some of Ultra’s features that are igniting MY excitement. From festival changes to DJ sets, new construction to after parties, there’s so much to talk about that I should probably just shut up and get to it.
1. Ultra’s New Location – Bayfront Park
While many people might be dissatisfied with UMF’s location change, I am quite excited (change is good people!) It’s difficult to judge how the move is going to turn out, but Ultra’s been an extremely successful event ever since it started back in 1999, so I don’t see why a minor seven block move would ruin the festival. Bayfront Park, which is actually a larger park than Bicentennial Park (last year’s location,) has previously been home to the festival. Back in 2001, Ultra was relocated from it’s original location in South Beach to Bayfront Park Amphitheatre because they needed a larger venue. Once Ultra really started to blow up, they moved the festival to Bicentennial Park so they would have more room.
So, what’s the big deal with moving back to the old location?
Many people are concerned about the switch back to Bayfront because of how much larger this years attendance is expected to be. But have no fear my friends, obviously were using all of Bayfront Park (not just the amphitheatre) and like I said, our new home is two acres larger! The real reason I think everyone is bitching is because we’re (myself included) festival snobs. After so many years at Bicentennial park, everyone gets so comfortable and has their “spots,” and in having to reestablish these places, we end up complaining.
Although music is the most important part of Ultra, how the event is set up has a major effect on the total outcome of it’s success. So let’s just hope the festival’s field trip to a new (well, kinda new) spot works in our favor.
2. The Ultra Music Festival Smartphone Application
I know what you’re thinking, whoop-di-fucking-do, a cell phone app. But if you’re one of those festival goers who’s really big on getting to a specific show at a specific time or sticking to a schedule, I think it’s worth installing. And now that I think about it, if you’re extremely unorganized and never manage to make it to any shows on time, then you should probably install it too.
After recently working on putting together The Wanee Festival cell phone app, I’ve realized how useful festival applications really are. With talk about how much the app is improving this year (in comparison to the one from last year that apparently sucked) and the installation of cell towers to help solve the “no service” issues, I think it’s a great addition to anyone’s experience. The application helps all users get connected and learn about all the UMF artists, stay organized, and not get lost (there are 100,000+ people there ya know.) And c’mon, it’s a FREE app, who doesn’t love free shtuff?
3. My Happy Place – The Carl Cox and Friends Tent
The Carl Cox and Friends stage at Ultra is sort of like that one person in your group of friends who everybody loves and for obvious reasons. The tent is always a magical madhouse. It has the same energy level as main stage, but the lineups for each day (in my opinion) are always better. The artists who play in the tent, often have sets that are much longer than DJs who play on the other UMF stages. This has allowed the performers to really showcase their talent (i.e. Laurent Garnier UMF 2011.)
If you check out the UMF 2012 set times, you’ll notice that this year there aren’t really any “extended” sets, but the lineup is still massive. I mean come on, Seth Troxler, Magda, Loco Dice, Richie Hawtin (to name a few,) fucking glorious! So many people like to spend their last hour at Main Stage, but personally, I recommend spending it with this crowd.
Check out the video below for a taste of what you’re in for, I think it does the tent justice.
4. Post Ultra – After Parties
It seems like every year the Ultra after parties get better and better. A slew of people aren’t even going to Ultra specifically so they can save up their energy for all the post-festival celebrations (which is a bit odd to me because these Ultra no-goers are mainly loonies from Miami, so OBVIOUSLY they can handle both.)
With Winter Music Conference well underway, it almost seems like UMF is an after party for craziness that’s already going on. All the big Miami spots like LIV, Amnesia, The Surfcomber, and The Shelborne (I’m stopping here because this list is freaking endless,) are all hosting massive parties both before and after the festival. So if you make it through the week and Ultra AND still think your liver, body, and brain, can take more partying, head over to the official WMC website for information on the hottest spots! My recommendations for post Ultra booty shakin’?:
Sunday March 25th
Shine at the Shelborne – This Is Miami – Sanderkleinenberg and Friends Closing Party
Space WMC Closing Fiesta
GIANT ((THROBBING)) ELECTRIC PICKLE INVADES MIAMI
Deadmau5 With Mau5trap at Amnesia