The Ultra Music Festival opens Friday night at Bayfront Park in South Beach, and this year’s three-day event promises to be bigger than ever. Promoters hinted to Fox News Latino that a special guest act would be gracing the performance stage Saturday night—no names were confirmed but Madonna is in town, and word on the street is she’ll be making an appearance…
An event that has become known as the hottest dance party in the US, UMF brings together the world’s best DJs, producers, and electronic-leaning bands, with 150,000 mostly 18-25 year-old, fist-pumping, sweaty, glow-stick waving electronic music fanatics. It's a three-day music festival of totally hyped and energetically jumping attendees looking to seriously party at the country’s biggest rave.
With light shows to rival any Vegas Cirque du Soleil production, UMF is constantly working to make the event bigger and better every year.
The move to the newly re-modeled Bayfront Park is designed to improve the ticket holder’s experience significantly. Located in Downtown Miami, with close proximity to the beach and bay, grass vs. dirt, and two performance stages, UMF promoters are hoping for their best year yet.
Started in 1999 by business partners Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes, UMF began as a party on the beach and has slowly expanded to its current three-day annual event.
“I was a 17 year old kid who always had a dreamed of doing a festival-on the beach—particularly in South Beach. The first one happened during the Winter Music Conference 14 years ago, and there was an energy created that day unlike any other," Faibisch said. "When I was 20 we officially started Ultra. And no matter where we are in the world, there’s only one Ultra, the original one in Miami.”
With five years in Sao Paolo, Brazil and six in Ibiza, Spain, UMF Worldwide recently announced its plans to go even more global this year, with three more countries added to the 2012 schedule. With its newest additions of Korea, Poland, and Argentina, to this year’s lineup—UMF Worldwide will have festivals on every continent except Africa and Australia—Faibisch says South Africa and Sydney are currently in the works.
“It’s the event that really kicks off the season of music festivals in the US. It’s a one-stop-shopping place for the fan of electronic music. Three days of the best old school and what’s sure to be the next hot band or D.J. Winter Music Conference is like going to your dad’s party. This is the party for young people,” says Jose Duran, music critic and web editor of the Miami New Times.
Ticket prices range from presale prices of $229 to VIP at $599.99. Tickets reportedly sold out in a record 20 minutes this year.
“We are passionate about Ultra. It’s what we do seven days a week, 24 hours a day, all year long. It’s important to keep it fresh and relevant," Faibisch said. "We want to bring the audience a better and better experience every year.”
Rebekah Sager is a writer in San Diego, Calif. You can reach her via Twitter @ShoplocalSD
Rebekah Sager is a writer/editor for Fox News Latino. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager