As some of you may know, the Ultra Music Festival stormed Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida last weekend. Ultra is one of the largest record labels for electric dance music (EDM) and, since 1999, has held the second largest electronic music festival in North Ameri-ca, second to the glorious Electric Daisy Carnival of Las Vegas. This year’s festival was set to explode bigger than ever; they didn’t disappoint. On the Saturday alone of the three-day event, a record 165,000 EDM-lovers jumped around to sounds of the top DJs and producers of this genre.
Some of the greats helped ignite the party on Friday, March 23. Tiesto was the headliner, but Afrojack may have stolen the spotlight, playing some of my favorites like “No Beef” and his new release, “Fatality,” while touching on other clas-sics, like Martin Solveig’s “Hello” and Afrojack’s own “Take Over Control.” He also informed the crowd that he is focused on his upcoming “Jacked” tour of America – his first ever. Other communal favorites fueled the fire throughout the day: Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Dada Life and Carl Cox. Some less-known performers also showed their stuff, like Porter Robinson, Nicky Romero and Tommy Trash.
Saturday’s line-up ensured that the womp-womp and thumping speakers of the festival would be heard throughout Florida. The kings of Dubstep probably shattered windows; they included Zeds Dead, Doctor P, Borgore, Datsik, Twelfth Planet and Skream! + Benga. New com-er Mord Fustang displayed why I’ve had them repeatedly playing on my iTunes; check out their stuff, if you’re not familiar. Justice returned to the stage after passing last year. Avicii, our main per-former for SPW 2012, concluded the night. As a surprise, Madonna stepped out to introduce the young, Swedish superstar; in doing so, she asked the crowd, “How many of you have seen Molly?” This outraged one of the leaders in EDM, Dead-mau5, and he replied via his Facebook (check this out for yourself).
Ultra surely saved some of the best for last. My personal favorite Dubstep artist, Bassnectar, destroyed the crowd with his signature rock and hip-hop infused sound. He showed off his previously released album Divergent Spectrum (which, if you don’t have, get) in addition to of-fering sneak peeks at his upcoming album, Vava Voom. David Guetta, Kaskade, Fedde, Sander van Doorn, Big Gigantic, Chase and Status and the Bloody Beetroots were all cramped into this final day too. The new project from the Pendu-lum boys, Knife Party, may have had the single best moment of the concert, dropping every-one’s new favorite, “Internet Friends;” yeah, you know, “You blocked me on Facebook…and now you’re going to die.” Steve Aoki also did his signature cake throw and stage dive on Sunday.
With a line-up like this, I will do anything to have my eardrums permanently damaged at next year’s Ultra Music Festival.
Contact Jordan Gorelick at