Tips and Tricks to Making your Ultra Music Festival 2018 Ultra Amazing
by Kristine Kennedy // Photos by Michael Beas
So you’ve bit the bullet and gotten yourself a ticket to Ultra Miami next week. Whether you’re going solo or heading south with a small village of best friends, you’re bound to have an absolute blast. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that we hope will make your Ultra Miami experience the best festival experience you’ve ever had, whether you consider yourself a seasoned pro or a festival newbie. We hope you enjoy!
- Get there early! Doing so will help enhance your experience so much. You won’t be waiting on the security line for what could seem like an eternity (there’s nothing worse than hearing that deep bass from the outside) and you should just breeze right through the gates. You won’t risk missing your first “must-catch artist” for the day either. And trust me; this has happened to me many, many times over the years. Sometimes I learn, sometimes I don’t, but I’ll always preach it. If this is your first time at the festival, getting there before the majority of the crowd also allows you to get the lay of the land down and, if you’re anything like me, find the best food.
- About that porta-potty life…it’s a necessary evil of the festival world but hopefully this tip will help ease the pain (and burning of your nostrils) a tad. The porta-potties in the middle of the park (under the old 7-up/Stage 7 Stage) are probably best to avoid after Friday. They’re the easiest ones to come to and being central, they’re likely a good meeting spot for a bunch of groups and well, the most used. There’s a larger, cleaner and less populated group of porta-potties located in the southwest corner of the park, between the perimeter fence and the Spider Stage. Use those. You’re welcome!
- Hydration Nation. Guys, the weather is supposed to be beautiful this year for Ultra. Please remember to hydrate! There are free water stations located across the festival venue and I personally have never waited in a line. Still if you cannot find a station and it’s an emergency, please just purchase a bottle of water. Yes, the water prices are steep but they’re still cheaper than a hospital bill. Most importantly though, party smart and look out for all 165,000 of your rave family this weekend.
- Download the Ultra App! When you create your schedule on the app, it will give you a 15 minute heads up before the artists you want to catch begin their sets.
- Portable phone chargers will be your lifesaver. Ultra has temporary cell phone towers brought in for the festival and they help IMMENSELY. Still, don’t rely on them to keep your battery from draining as you’re instagramming your way through Ultra’s 20th Pack your portable and be sure you have a way to charge your phone without having to miss any of your favorite sets.
- Be sure to pack your most comfortable shuffle shoes. A festival is no place to be showing off those brand new kicks. They’ll be unrecognizable by the end of the day, as will your feet which will probably be sporting some blisters. Do your feet a favor and they’ll thank you later as you painlessly rave your way through days 2 and 3.
- Entering the festival. Ultra has put some work into this process in recent years and it has paid off very well. For the most part, entering and passing security goes very smoothly now. If you’re a VIP ticket holder, you have your own entrance by the Intercontinental Hotel – it’s a walkway barge that goes over the Biscayne Bay. Fancy. Remember anything you bring in must be sealed – this goes for gum, chap stick, feminine products, etc. Ultra also only allows clear bags. Hydration packs are allowed only if they are not backpacks also – they cannot have the removable plastic water pouch. There is also an amnesty box at the beginning of security check should you want to safely dispose of your party favors before entering the festival with no questions asked.
- Bring that sunscreen! I live in NYC. It’s disgusting here in the winters. I cannot tell you how excited I get when I’m packing for Ultra and I have to dig out the sunscreen from the back of the closet. Don’t underestimate the Miami sun just because it’s only March and not smack in the middle of the summer. You’re going to be outside all day long, likely not under any shade. Sunscreen is your friend to achieve that sexy, golden glow.
- Plan a meetup spot for your group of friends to meet at. Suppose half of you want to check out Virtual Self and half are all about Axwell /\ Ingrosso. Well it just so happens that both of those sets are at the same time and at the end of the night on Friday. If you didn’t follow Tip #5 above, please follow Tip #9 here. Remember what happens to phone batteries as the day progresses at a festival? 100%….73%…40%…low battery…and we’re out. My friends and I have a group of palm trees that we always meet under. Yes, “meet me under the palm trees” is a phrase we use often even outside of Ultra planning! Whatever you do, try not to pick the porta-potties in the middle of the venue as your meeting place. You might be down a friend or two if you’re late and you force them to wait for you in that area for longer than 5 minutes.
- Practice your PLUR. Look out for each other. Be a friend to everyone. No matter what language we speak, where we come from, or who we are, we are all united together through our love for the music. Let’s make this the best year ever at Ultra Music Festival.