In just over two weeks Ultra Music Festival will bring high energy to Bayfront Park once again. Hundreds of thousands of kandi clad ravers from all over the world will come together to sweat it out to top DJs like Armin Van Buuren
, Knife Party
and dozens more. Fans await the release of Phase 3 of the lineup, which will announce eight more DJs that will appear on the main stage and nine that will be scattered throughout the five other stages. With artists like Steve Aoki
, Oliver Heldens
, and Borgore
in town for the week, there is plenty of speculation.
While many Ultra attendees are Miami locals, many more are from out of town. After making a stiff purchase, making travel plans and gathering a squad, the stakes are high. Make sure March 18-20th are the best days of your life and take on Ultra like a pro. As a previous Ultra attendee and University of Miami student, I can tell you some things you may have wished you thought of before you got to the gate.
Tip 1: Connecting through kandi
Regardless of whether this is your first festival or you're a seasoned veteran, there is no better way to get the vibes going than to make some kandi
. Gather your Ultra squad, bring out the beads and blast some music of your favorite DJs on the lineup. If you are not an EDM expert, this is the perfect way to familiarize yourself with the artists. No, you don't need to know all the words in order to drop it low, but there is no better feeling than being able to distinguish artists and chant along with the die-hards. Because Ultra Music Festival is such a commercial fest, people lose sight of the music. I promise you, your experience will be more memorable when you can appreciate the DJ's and the tracks they play during their sets.
Although it may seem trivial, some of the best ways to create memories at festivals is through trading kandi. You'll start the day with 20 bracelets you made yourself, and end up with 30 new bracelets made by ravers from all around the world. Keep trading and cherish your favorites.
Tip 2: Did someone say props and themes?!
Props and themes! Nothing is more fun than embracing the full spirit of rave culture. Wear whatever you want or nothing at all, it's up to you. Establishing your rave crew is essential, but take it one step further and squad out in themed attire. You'll be surprised at the amount of positivity that will come your way if you step up on the scene as a group of construction workers or a mob of painted bodies.
If you are from a different country, state, are in Greek life or have school pride, BRING YOUR FLAG. There are so many reasons to bring a prop. First, if you get separated, throw a chick on some shoulders and wave it high. Works every time to regroup the team. Secondly, not only will it make for a great Instagram, but more than likely will you be able to find yourself in the crowd in the Ultra after movies and professional photographs.
Tip 3: Hydration Station
Save money and time by making sure that at least one person in your crew has a CamelBak. Just like the ticket price, water comes at a hefty price at festivals. As long as nobody is afraid of sharing the mouthpiece, everyone in the squad will stay hydrated and will be able to keep going for hours. Water bottles are small and a pain to hold on to while dancing. A two-liter CamelBak will make your Ultra experience way less stressful and can be a life saver, literally.
Tip 4: Getting there is not easy
TAKE THE METRO. Rookie mistake #1 is taking a car to Bayfront Park. You will not get within one mile of the grounds and will end up walking, wasting your energy. If you aren't staying near the metro rail, take an Uber to the metro and save money, time and energy. Take the metro rail to Government Station, transfer to the Metro Mover and ride it just a few stops to Bayfront Park. This will leave you right outside the festival for just $2.00. Not only is this extremely convenient, riding the metro might be the best part of the experience. You'll find hundreds of half-naked ravers packed in each car chanting and pumping up the vibes. Don't worry if you don't know which stop to get off at, just follow the crowds.
Tip 5: Don't be afraid to move away from the main stage
Once you make your way into the festival, make sure you venture off from the main stage. While the main stage is quite the spectacle, there is so much talent elsewhere that will blow your mind. Big names like Tchami
, Yellow Claw
, The Chainsmokers
and Alison Wonderland
will be playing at the many different stages Ultra has to offer. Additionally, Ultra is bringing the Arcadia Spider to play host for their Resistance stage in Miami. The stage looks like a giant fire breathing spider that allows for a 360-degree show unlike any other.
Regardless of whether you stay at the main stage, take an Uber or decide to arrive in a t-shirt and jeans, it's impossible not to have fun at Miami Ultra Music Festival. A ticket is a pass to a guaranteed magical experience. Can't wait to see you all there!