Ultra Music Festival Delivers the Ultimate Anniversary Bash

by Kristine Kennedy

Photos by Michael Beas

            Do you remember how you celebrated your 20thbirthday? Maybe, maybe not. I bet you can fill in those hazy gaps with embarrassing moments belting out the lyrics to your favorite karaoke jams channeling your inner Celine Dion and plenty of shot taking. I don’t know about you, but Ultra Music Festival’s 20thanniversary party surely trumped my own 20th..even the bit of it that I can recall to this day.


            Ultra delivered on every front this year to give us nothing short of a stellar show. They packed plenty of confetti and streamers. Boy oh boy did they bring the pyro – I have to give everyone in the front rows props because it was damn hot down there! And you bet they brought the memories – the kind that last a lifetime. I don’t even know where to begin to recap these three amazing days.

            Let’s start with the obvious. It’s no longer a proper party unless Swedish House Mafia unites to close the show down. These guys brought the house down to an absolutely packed Main Stage audience. I’m pretty sure the crowd sang along to every single lyric packed into this performance. Now that the speculation of this reunion has finally been confirmed and witnessed, we can only hope that when Axwell said “This time, it’s for life,” that this confirms our world will have a lot more Swedish House Mafia in its future.

            Miami, you were such a beautiful crowd! I saw nothing but seas of happy faces every day and night at Ultra this year. This is how a festival should be! Plur vibes and amazing weather really added to the atmosphere this year. Ultra also offered a ton of food options to satisfy just about any dietary palate. My personal fave? Hands down, The Conch Shack wins the award! Oh my Lord what is in that sauce? Amazingness – that’s what. Guys, I don’t even like conch and I’m obsessed with the conch this truck is doling out.


            And now, back to the Festival. I’m almost positive that dull roar in my ears is still the sound of that oh-so-impressive BASS coming from the Carl Cox/ASOT Stage. This is always one of my favorite stages of the festival because it’s so beautifully designed with the moving pieces coming down from the rooftop. Memorable sets include Armin van Buuren and Andrew Rayel, who plays with such an infectious energy he’s even able to get a sleepy Sunday daytime crowd feeling the vibes!


            Were there any areas of improvement? Well, sure. They could always make VIP free, right? Kidding…or not. The GA entrance seemed to be a bit backed up at times but honestly, what can you expect from a sold out festival? Security needs a little time to do their jobs and make sure we are all partying responsibly. This is just an instance where we need to put our plur pants on and make friends with those around you in line.


            Celebrating the 20thAnniversary of Ultra Music Festival leaves me yearning for year 21 to come quickly. I must admit I’m a bit biased though, because I finally was able to experience this Festival with my boyfriend, best friend and partner-in-crime, Michael Beas whom I met at Ultra two years prior. So I can truly attest that Ultra Music Festival unites best friends together, whether you walk inside the gates with one or not.

Until 2019, Ultra fam…