BY REGINA GONZALEZ
When we’re stressed, day dreaming of our happy place can lead to an array of pictures in our minds. Personally, my mind travels to a place where everyone lets loose and gets to dance. Where lights cross in the air above you to the sound of the bass and fire blasts out of a stage. Where good music can be heard from miles away. Ultra Music Festival is that place, and for the third year in a row I got to put glitter on my face and space buns in my hair to get lost in the music.
The festival brought in about 55,000 ticket holders according to a CBS Miami news report, and they flew in from countries as far as Brazil and all the way from China ready to rave in their kandy bracelets and expressive outfits. They formed a sea audience around the different stages throughout the park to experience all the latest sounds from their favorite artists. Being a short drive from Tampa, the show also brought in many UT students, including myself and 10 friends. Many came in for their very first Ultra experience.
“It’s a magical place just like I expected,” said former UT junior Cynthia Quach, who flew into Tampa from her new school in Ohio to head to Ultra. “My friends at UT have been going for the past two years and told me how much bigger and better it is than EDC Orlando and they were right, there were so many awesome DJs one after another.”
Headlining DJs like Ultra veterans Hardwell, Galantis, David Guetta, Major Lazer and many more took the main stage for the three days leading up to DJ Snake closing the event on Sunday evening. Other performers such as NIGHTMRE, JOYRYDE, and Robin Schultz took to the smaller stages around Bay Front Park. The artists performed their latest hits and also released plenty of new music.
The DJs brought big guests to town and DJ Snake shocked the crowd when he brought out rapper Future to rock the mic as they danced on the stage deck to “Mask Off,” “Fuck Up Some Commas,” And “Jumpman.” There were major rumors that DJ Snake would close the show by bringing out Drake to release a new song after his recent posted pictures with Drake on social media hinted at a possible collaboration. However, Drake’s vocals in the “Jumpman” performance were only recorded audio. He also brought out Lil Jon to help perform their famous colab “Turn Down for What.” Moksi and G4shi also made appearances in the finale.
“DJ Snake was by far my favorite performance because he kept the crowd going throwing different types of music in there and and brought out so many different people, it was an awesome set to end the weekend,” said University of Delaware junior Jon Madia who flew in from school for the event.
The crowd was also shocked when Kygo made a surprise twenty minute performance of his own on the main stage even though he was not listed to perform in the official lineup. Kygo gave a short performance to provide a sneak peak of his new music and play his latest hits.
Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival turned the pretty city into an electronic dance snowglobe. Artists poured in from all over the world for the event; some to play, and some to party. Big name DJs like Martin Garrix, Axwell Ingrosso and David Guetta came in town to perform sets at Ultra and local night clubs like the Fontain Bleu’s LIV nightclub and STORY Miami, while other artists like Steve Aoki spun at pool parties and was joined by even NFL players in town like New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Ezekiel Elliot. Kygo and Alesso could be seen in the VIP sections of clubs and even Paris Hilton came into town to party on yachts.
A weekend-long party and getting to dance the night away as confetti filled the sky and fell out of my hair when I was getting ready for bed was definitely idea of an ideal happy place.
Regina Gonzalez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org