The 15th anniversary of the Ultra Music Festival has sadly come to a close but with every new beginning comes an end – that end happens to be the most successful Ultra year to date. Spanning over 2 weekends, Bayfront Park in Miami was graced by over 300,000 visitors from across the world and over 10,000,000 fans tuned in online to catch the excitement. Yes, you read that correctly – 10 million people. It’s a great feeling to know I was able to experience it all firsthand but now that I’ve popped my Ultra cherry, I know what I would do differently next year and I’m here to pass those tips along to you. So without further delay, lets take a look at what made this years Ultra so special.
If you’ve never been to Ultra you have no idea, even the slightest idea what it’s like. 7 stages all going at one time, hundreds of thousands of EDM fans wandering around from stage to stage enjoying the worlds best DJ’s and an atmosphere like no other. The word organized chaos comes to mind. Due to the million different things happening at any given time in Miami, our Ultra experience kicked off around 6pm every day. We opted to take advantage of the various pool parties happening on South Beach during the day which consisted of multiple visits to the invite-only Redbull Guest House. The Guest House featured performances each day from John Talabot, Jamie XX, and an OWSLA Records party which boasted performances from Skrillex, Alvin Risk, Blood Diamond and a few others. Keep this is mind when you decide to plan a trip to Miami. It’s very overwhelming at times and schedule conflicts are bound to occur.
Over 300,000 electronic music fans descended upon beautiful Miami Florida this past week to enjoy the first weekend of the 15th anniversary of the Ultra Music Festival and now another 300,000 fans anxiously await departure for a sold-out weekend number two – ourselves included. What’s it like sitting at the office days before you’re about to hop on a plane to enjoy one of the worlds greatest music festivals you ask? One word: hectic. We could be like the other guys and simply just fly down to Miami, go with the flow, and see what happens, but we’re not like those other guys. We want to give you guys an inside glimpse into all of the happenings going on in Miami which is why we’re giving you event previews, guides, interviews with artists, and much more.
Now that you’re in ‘the know’ with all of the things happening outside of the Ultra Music Festival, lets dive right in and take a look at all of the things happening within the festival at the gorgeous Bayfront Park. For those of you who have been before, think of this simply as a refresher, and for those of you who are about to enjoy your first Ultra experience, let us guide you so you don’t end up making out with a tree on camera like this girl did last year. She clearly forgot to read the IMF 2012 guide. Don’t make the same mistake she did.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Miami Music Week is in full effect and with the completion of weekend 1 of the Ultra Music Festival, we’re going to begin to prepare you for the madness that is week 2. First things first, make sure you read our Miami Music Week guide – this will update you on our picks of some of the top parties. Second, stay tuned to IMF because as the week goes by, we’ll be releasing some exclusive content with event previews, interviews, and much more.
Kicking things off today, we give you Social Experiment Miami presented by BPM Festival, No.19, SAFE, The Modern Love Affair, and Jazz J Spinder. It will feature headliners Art Department, Canadian techno/house Legend Kenny Glasgow and Canada’s fastest rising star and No.19 label owner – Jonny White. They’re joined by the legendary DJ Sneak, Deniz Kurtel, Juan Maclean, Tone Of Arc, Shaun Reeves, My Favorite Robot, Nitin, Droog, Clayton Steele, and Jakkin Rabbita all under the Cafeina Wynwood Lounge (297 NW 23rd Street) at 10pm. The party goes until 5am for those of you who have no need for sleep and you can pickup tickets here.
Interested in hearing a little bit more of what you’ll be seeing live? Check out the soundcloud player below for a Spring 2013 Sampler mix from No. 19 records. Grab your tickets, your dancing shoes, and we’ll see you at Cafeina Wynwood Lounge on Friday!
If there is one event that I am most looking forward to most outside of the Ultra Music Festival it has to be the dirtybird Players event taking place at Villa 221 on Thursday of Miami Music Week. The dirtybird family has been blessing my ears and my rear end with the best booty bass, deep house, tech house, future dubstep, and musical genres that haven’t even been invented – yet for quite some time and I am ready to finally get to attend one of their infamous dirtybird BBQs. There will be burgers, there will be house, and there will be hip hop. The OG dirtybird family will be joined by hip-hop innovators De La Soul and it is sure to be a pairing not to miss. Pretty much it is my idea of what heaven would sound and taste like.
I would hope that by now dirtybird needs no introduction, but for those of you who have been living under a rock let me get you up to speed. The label started from a simple desire of transforming the tired vocal house sounds of San Francisco and giving the people a free party to attend at Golden Gate Park. The inaugural party did not have many in attendance, but it was only a matter of time before the word of something special spread. The founders Claude Von Stroke, Worthy, and the Martin Brothers, grew the event until there was not enough burgers to go around and the park could no longer accommodate the throngs of people looking for a party with a smile. A couple of years later the label was formed and from there our ears have been continually blessed with the innovative sounds coming out of the dirtybird heavy hitters that include Claude Von Stroke, Justin Martin, Leroy Peppers, J.Philip, and Worthy.
If you can’t catch the tour in Miami they will be making a few other stops around the globe before the labels first summer residency in Ibiza. If you can’t make any of those tour dates try to refrain your urge to cry. The players have also released a two part compilation to hold you over until they are back in your neck of the woods. dirtybird Players Part 1 and dirtybird Players Part 2 are out on Beatport so fire up the grill, make yourself a burger, and pretend you are in Miami with us while you bump these killer compilations. For a sample of what you can expect, check out some of my booty bumpin picks after the jump.
It’s no secret that the energy filling Chicago’s Congress Theater was anything short of maximal. This was especially the case for last Friday’s sold out show with Los Angeles native Dillon Francis who co-headlined with Chicago’s own Flosstradamus. Anticipation was through the roof as local DJ Zebo finished up his opening set. As he left the stage, lights were cut and the everything was overcome with florescent blue lights followed by a thick layer of smoke.
While the intro to Flosstradamus’ own “Lana’s Theme” began to creep in, two heads appeared in the haze. After giving some love to their hometown, the bass dropped along with every jaw in the crowd. Their heavy trap and hip hop influenced set had every person in the theater going wild. After the conclusion of their set the floor appeared to clear out, but it was obvious that everyone began refueling for what was next to come. It wasn’t long before the lights dimmed, the crowd roared, and a stampede of IDGAFOS hats stormed the gate. As the first track dropped the LED screen became illuminated with cats, tacos, and an array of profanity. With a more than a positive response from the crowd, it was clear that Dillon Francis was happy to be back in Chicago. Given the love and support that this city has continued to show these artists, it goes without saying that Chicago left it’s mark on the ‘Wurld Turr.’ As always, special thanks to React Presents!
Russia has a lot going for it these days – between the comets plummeting over its skies to the numerous DJ’s it produces, one thing is for sure, Russia has something in the water and Swanky Tunes denies it. In an industry where the DJ’s are as plentiful as food in a grocery store, there’s a trio that’s standing out amongst the rest and no, I’m not talking about electronic pop sensation Swedish House Mafia. Let me introduce you to Swanky Tunes.
Born in 1998 straight out of Moscow, Swanky Tunes has dabbled in a little bit of everything from techno to more beat influenced records. Their style is wide and not to be questioned, winning ‘Best Musical Group’ in Russian’s Dance Awards two years in a row. Heavyweight artists like Tiesto and David Guetta drop their sounds in their sets and they’re showing no sign of slowing down.
We caught up with them right before they’re about to head to Miami to deliver their fans an epic set on the Main Stage at the beautiful Bayfront Park. We discuss their thoughts about Ultra, what we can expect from their new record label SHADOWLAND, and what’s in the water in Russia.
Miami Music Week is fast upon us and the IMF team can hardly wait to join the 300,000 strong Electronic Music Fam in Miami next week. Kicking off this Friday with Week 1 of the Ultra Music Festival and continuing through the week into Weekend 2 of Ultra, fans will have no trouble finding events and tunes to meet their musical tastes. There will be no lull between the two festival weekends as the week days are jam packed with pool parties and late night club shows that are sure to be filled to the brink with teeny weeny bikinis and skin tight dresses. We advise you to sleep while you can because the city will be getting no shut eye come Friday.
While some of you might have had your week planned months ago. We want to help those that are behind in their planning game by narrowing down some of our top picks. As we won’t be making our touchdown in MIA Thursday morning the 2nd leg of the week is where you will find us basking in the sun to the sounds of our favorite artists. Scope our itinirary below and pop in to the events to play with the IMF fam. If you are heading in for leg 1 scope the full schedule here.
IMF will once again taking over the beautiful city of Miami next week for the festivities of Miami Music Week and the Ultra Music Festival. We don’t know about you but we think there is no better way to cure our winter blues than spending days pool and seaside with beautiful scantily clad ladies and our favorite djs.
Earlier last month, trance legend Gareth Emery got our excitement for Miami mounted when he released his take on Da Hool’s classic “Meet Her At The Loveparade.” This 90′s festival anthem has been recognized by electronic lovers old and young and Emery’s new rendition is sure to be the anthem of the week.
It’s surprising such a gem was not even meant for a release, and of the track Gareth said:
“OK… so I initially made this cover version of Da Hool’s classic ‘meet her at the love parade’ for my own sets, as it was always one of my favorite classics and I felt it needed an update. Didn’t initially plan on releasing it but the reactions live were great and lots of people asked about it, so I decided to stick it out there with a new name for no other reason than Miami is coming up and I am looking forward to it.
This is not “Concrete Angel” nor is it supposed it be, it’s a party track which is a bit of a fun whilst I am working on my new album.”
Check the original groove and see how it compares to the remake. The fresh update has given life to the song once again and it is sure to be ingrained in the minds of over 300,000 festival goers soon. Stay tuned to IMF for our complete coverage of all things WMC and for the 2013 Ultra Music Festival dropping this week!