Ultra Miami 2023
Now that the dust has finally settled…
…and the euphoria of Ultra Music Festival has subsided, I had finally been able to write this review. I may have said it before but I did not want to write this as it would mean that Ultra is finally over. Yet, I had to which has been 3 weeks since then.
I will get right into it. Although it was my second time attending an Ultra Music Festival in itself, this was my first time at the flagship one in Miami where Ultra originated, as my first one was Ultra Croatia back in 2016. But many would argue this would be my first Ultra. So, for all intents and purposes, we shall say this was my first.
Ultra Music Festival took place over a 3-day weekend of March 24-26th at Bayfront Park. Friday from 4PM-midnight, Saturday 1PM-midnight,and Sunday 4PM-10PM.
Though Ultra is considered a massive festival, it somehow managed to have an intimate feeling which was something I absolutely loved about this event. I really enjoyed being able to walk from stage to stage within less than five minutes; not because I do not mind walking but because it made it easier for me to bounce between music to catch a good chunk of different artists. Initially, the event layout was a bit confusing as I was trying to figure out the stage location. I did not like having to walk up hills and ramps but eventually I came to love the place. I am not sure which stage I spent more time at as I was immersed in Ultra but each stage brought flare of good music.
I would love to go into great details about all of the artists I saw but we would be here awhile. So instead, I will break it down my top two sets for each day. My favorite set for day-1 was the 30-minute b2b between Ferry Corsten and Armin Van Buuren, it was an old school classic trance set featuring many goodies along with their classic collaboration track Exhale. I did also catch Eric Prydz ‘Holo’ set and while the music was enjoyable the crowd was not. It was ridiculously packed. The visuals were lackluster, just in the sense that I thought it would be more 3D.
Day-2’s favorite sets of the night went to Dubfire b2b Kolsch, Joris Voorn, and Kayzo. And as a trance and techno lover, I even caught some dubstep artists like Kill the Noise, Jauz b2b Sudden Death, and Dimension. On this night I forgot how much I love drum ‘n bass.
Day-3 went by so quickly, but managed to catch some hardstyle artists such as Coone and Darren Stylez. Day-3 was a mini food tour for our group as we ended our journey with Kx5 which was the perfect ending overlooking the city skyline of downtown Miami.
Ultra had a wide range and variety in food; we wandered the festival ground trying out some out from dumplings, to noodles, to tacos and much more which I really enjoyed. Their fruit smoothie while overpriced, saved my life that night, so refreshing!
There was so much on this trip I wished I had could have done, such as participate in more of Miami Music Week events, which are constant day and night parties, spread amongst a variety of different venues across Miami and even into Miami Beach, featuring an insane number of artists and many of whom played two or three times in different venues. You could essentially party hop and hit up 3 or 4 parties in a day and night. If this trip had been planned better, I would have partaken in more of MMW. Nonetheless, we attended Ultra’s last day afterparty at Factory Town which was this industrial space that reminded me of Insomniac’s Factory 93, but bigger and a mini festival of in itself. It had 4 stages; mini food concession stands and bars littered throughout the venue. However, variety in alcohol and beer was limited.
Honestly, though I did enjoy this trip, I think I would like to do just Miami Music Week and not Ultra, just so I can give a more thorough assessment and review of it, but regardless I cannot wait to go back for more. But next time, I will be more prepared to participate in more of Miami Music week.