The Ultimate EDM Festival: Ultra Miami 2017 Recap

March 29, 2017

Miami: amazing beaches, amazing people, beautiful weather, and incredible nightlife. Even though I’m not much of a partier, I think Miami is a really cool destination for anyone, including an amazing spot for the Ultra Music Festival.

Each March, Ultra Music Festival takes over Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami and throws and amazing three-day music festival. The festival was founded in 1999, and has continued in Miami (and expanded to many other locations) since then. This year’s festival took place on March 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2017. Another cool note about the festival is that it is all outdoors, which I think is important most of the time for the festival atmosphere. And if an outdoor EDM festival in Miami wasn’t enough of a selling point, the festival has 8 stages that host both live and DJ acts, so I highly doubt you’d have much down time at all, as there is always great music being played. You’ll be able to catch a great performer at any time during the fest!

Ultra splits their performers into 3 groups: live and DJ headliners, and supporting acts. Some of the major live headliners for this years’ fest were: Ice Cube, Justice, and Major Lazer. Some of the DJ headliners were: Afrojack, Alesso, David Guetta, Hardwell, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki and Zedd. In total, the fest had 10 live headliners, 24 DJ headliners, and 72 supporting acts! Across the 8 stages, there sure wasn’t a lack of performers to see. This year’s festival was sold out, like it always is, and had about 165,000 people in attendance. If you weren’t one of those lucky 165,000 people, most of the sets are up on YouTube, which I think is something unique this festival does. A lot of times, you can only find fan videos of parts of sets. It’s rare that you can find entire sets from a festival online.

Some of my favorite performances from the weekend were:

Don Diablo – Friday March 24th 4:15 – Ultra Mainstage


Tiësto’s Set – Sat March 25th 7:15pm – Ultra Mainstage


Nicky Romero – Sat March 25th 11pm – Ultra Worldwide



There were a lot of other special moments at the festival. A lot of the artists will play exclusive mixes that haven’t been heard anywhere else before. As well as this, a lot of performers bring guests to perform during their sets. DJ Snake closed the mainstage on Sunday by bringing out Future, and Steve Aoki brought 2 Chainz and Louis Tomlinson during his set on Saturday – just to name a few. So even if you think you know what is going to go down, the weekend will be full of surprises to keep you on your toes. The festival doesn’t seem to have very many live artists regularly, so it was cool seeing a mix of MCs, as well as hip hop and rap artists. I think Ultra is very in touch with what is popular, and the types and styles of music that are having their moments.

If Miami is too far for you, or you can’t swing a festival in the middle of March, have no fear, the Ultra Fest is worldwide. Ultra also holds shows/festivals in: Puerto Rico, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Buenos Aires, Paraguay, Brasil, Ibiza, Europe (Ultra Europe is probably my favorite – it’s a week!), Hvar Island, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. That’s a serious list, so get your travel on! And as if that wasn’t enough, Ultra just announced that they will be holding Ultra Australia for the first time in 2018 as well. With the 20th anniversary of Ultra Miami in 2018, I can’t imagine how big of a year it’s going to be for the festival. With shows on six out of the seven continents, I think this shows that Ultra Fest is really dominating the world, and truly shows how EDM is dominating as well. There is no slowing down in sight. Ultra has made a name for themselves, and they really aren’t going anywhere.


-Tara Howell (@taraisntpunk)

Feature image by Leslie Crow

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