Premiere Music Festival of 20 Years & Counting; Ultra Music Festival
Every moment in electronic dance music history has all come down to this defining 20th anniversary of Ultra Music Festival. This installment of the festival is not just any ordinary get together with different walks of life sharing the same passion for dance music. Ultra’s 20th anniversary is a once in a lifetime experience that is uniting all of the past years into one celebration.
For a festival to still be running 20 consecutive years is one hell of an accomplishment. Heck, in today’s dance music community it’s hard to even have a festival go for two years in a row given the number of obstacles organizations have to face. Anyone even slightly involved with music is familiar with the five letter word “Ultra.”
The festival was founded in 1999 by Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes, who sadly passed away on January 12, 2015. Now more than ever, Ultra is superior than most other music festivals because they have accomplished the impossible. Russell Faibisch, co-founder of the Ultra Music Festival, an outdoor electronic music festival in Miami, created the “Ultra Worldwide” brand. The Ultra brand is iconic and renowned all over the world and it only just started to expand internationally back in 2007 and 2008 when they took their magical talents to Ibiza and Sao Paulo where “Ultra Worldwide” was born.
Ultra’s brand is a brand that has stolen the hearts of so many music lovers and fans all over the world. This is a brand that attendees are so loyal to, that they give up time and money to travel around the world to experience these different editions of Ultra. Back in the day the festival was limited to six other countries besides Miami, which is where the main festival is hosted. However, fast forward to the present day and “Ultra Worldwide” has produced 45 events in 20 countries across 5 Continents. The last countries that were added and announced at the end of Ultra Miami’s 19th anniversary were India and Australia for 2018. This is an announcement that many attendees look forward to and is a beautiful way to announce a new family member to the “Ultra Worldwide” lineup.
It has become common in the festival scene to have themes that play along with that year of the festival and usually this means new stage designs are revealed. Ultra Music Festival is one of the few festivals where they don’t have a theme but more so focus on stage design and sound quality. The festival hosts over seven stages that keep similar designs with new upgrades with each installment and then a different mainstage each year. The mainstage is revealed by people taking photos of the stages being built and then share them through social media. Richard D Milstein, who is the creative director and director of design for Ultra Music Festival/Ultra Worldwide, is the individual who has been blessing the souls and lighting up the eyes of so many Ultra festival goers for years now. He has stepped up the festival stage design game and continues to grow the hype of the festival every year. Mr. Milstein is also the founder of Skylab Industry Inc.
Ultra Music Festival is not only known for their colossal stage designs but more so the talent they continue to book over the years. It’s safe to say that Ultra has booked some of the largest acts both in dance music and encompasing all other genres of music as well. For instance, The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Snoop Dog, and even Madonna have all made special appearances. At Ultra Music Festival attendees have to be prepared to expect the unexpected. For Miami’s big 15th anniversary the festival announced a two day back to back weekend celebration of the festival at the end of their 2012 after movie. Ultra was the first electronic festival to host back to back weekends and had Swedish House Mafia close out both weekends with their “One Last Tour” upon announcing their split once the tour was over. The lineup is something fans should never sweat because Ultra understands it’s their 20th anniversary and they are blowing every other lineup out of the water with each additional announcement.
The fans of Ultra become family in a matter of minutes once they step through those gates. Memories are shared that truly cannot be mimicked at any other festival. This is an international festival where attendees come together to coexist and it’s interesting to see the different countries come to life and raise their flags in unity instead of division. The fans of Ultra devote their lives to attending the festival year after year and the 20th anniversary is bringing the true Ultra veterans out from the dark and back for the ultimate reunion in Ultra history. The positivity and hype truly can be felt through Facebook groups and is a great motivator for when one is feeling the weight of the world crashing down on them.
The Miami local economy has also seen huge positive domino effect from hosting the festival. The city has collected over 74 million dollars from Miami Music Week and Ultra and it’s only getting grander. People can say what they want about Ultra but this festival and brand is more legendary than other competitors. They have been able to transition from the party vibe it once had to now be known as “largest premiere” dance music event in North America This is a festival that is almost a fairytale and creates the feeling of stepping foot into a dream. Miami never disappoints and neither does Ultra Music Festival. Believe in their mission and vision and don’t question anything.
General Admission is sold out and no single day tickets are being sold. The only tickets that are still available are VIP and they are currently over 90 percent sold out. Please do not think for a second that this Ultra Music Festival is one to skip. There is a HUGE surprise 20th anniversary performance along with surprise guests at every other stage. The rumor mill has been non-stop playing the guessing game of who it will be. The latest talk is a Swedish House Mafia reunion or maybe even Daft Punk. Remember to #ExpectTheUnexpected and #InUltraWeTrust.
Fans can also be the first to see the new film #WhatWeStarted, featuring Carl Cox and Ultra’s own Russell Faibisch. “What We Started” focuses on the rise of electronic music, the controversy of the underground vs. the mainstream and the role that events like Ultra Music Festival have played in this growth.
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