Electronic dance music (EDM) fans regard the Ultra Music Festival as one of the premier music festivals in the world, if not the best. As announced by DJ Mag, the festival was voted the number one festival in the world two years in a row in 2016 and 2017. Its impressive history, global presence, and stunning show quality makes it easy to see why it keeps winning.
The festival, as documented in research by the University of Florida, began in 1999 on the sands of South Beach, Florida as a daytime rave on the beach. It was timed to coincide with the Winter Music Conference, a music expo held annually in Miami. By 2001, the festival had moved to Bayfront Park in downtown Miami to accommodate the growing crowds, and it became the anchor event of the Winter Music Conference. By 2012, the Miami attendees had grown to 165,000 and since 2012, the festival has been expanding worldwide to 23 countries.
Besides Miami, Florida, the festival has (or is developing) annual events in the following locations globally. You can view these events in detail by clicking on the "expanding worldwide" link above:
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Lima, Peru
- Santiago, Chile
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Ibiza (the Resistance event, a new show format from the festival's organizers)
- Split, Croatia
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
- Singapore (coming soon)
- Thailand (coming soon)
- Puerto Rico (coming soon)
- Santa Cruz, Bolivia (coming soon)
- Paraguay (coming soon)
The following video is the official "after movie" for Ultra Korea 2017, which took place in Seoul, South Korea:
The festival attracts the best of the best EDM artists, including these marquee names:
- Martin Garrix
- David Guetta
- Armin Van Buuren
- Chemical Brothers
- The Chainsmokers
- Carl Cox
Cost and How to Get Tickets
The Ultra Music Festival ranges from a few hundred dollars per ticket to over a thousand dollars for a special VIP pass. For example, the legendary festival in Miami, Florida starts at about $300 to about $380 per ticket depending on which seats or "tier" you choose. The prices go up to about $1,250 to about $1,500 for VIP access tickets. Each ticket gives you access to all days of the festival. All tickets are purchased online.
How the Festival Fares in Fan Ratings
No festival is perfect. Some can garner a reputation as being downright awful in some respects. This event, however, is legendary for its wow factor and quality organization. Here's how Ultra fares in the public eye:
- Facebook reviews: Out of 98,000 reviews on Facebook, Ultra has earned 4.8 stars out of 5.
- Yelp reviews: Out of over 100 reviews, Ultra averages 4 out of 5 stars in visitor reviews.
- Trip Advisor reviews: Out of 48 user reviews, Ultra earns 4.5 out of 5 stars.
One reviewer from We Got This Covered described the festival as a "smooth operation" and said it was remarkable that it went so smoothly because "with seven stages and over 100 artists, putting together the festival and making sure it all runs as planned is no easy feat."
The Best of the Best
It's unusual that any public event gets an almost unanimous approval in fan review forums, but that is the case with Ultra. No matter where you go or who you ask, it is endorsed as perhaps the best of the best in EDM festivals. It might even be one of the best, most smoothly organized music festivals of any genre.