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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Ultra Music Festival

Picture this: The sun dipping below an illuminated Miami skyline, the distant thump of bass teasing the air at a nearby stage, and the swaying hands, neon lights, and confetti dancing in unison. A gentle breeze carries the collective cheers, creating a harmonious atmosphere that engulfs Bayfront Park. In this moment, time loses its grip, and only the pulsating beats and the collective heartbeat of the crowd remain. This is Ultra Music Festival.

Now, Ultra Music Festival (UMF) has become a beacon of electronic dance music, with Ultra Worldwide events hosted across the world from Croatia, Japan, and South Africa to Taiwan and beyond. Each year, this festival captivates tens of thousands with its spectacular performances and unparalleled energy. Beyond the dazzling lights and booming beats, however, there are some intriguing facts that often remain in the shadows. Let’s explore five lesser-known facts about Ultra Music Festival that add depth to its legendary status:

  1. Ultra Music Festival was born 25 years ago, and is celebrating its 24th season this year

In its inaugural year in 1999, the first Ultra Music Festival showcased just eight DJs across two stages, drawing a crowd of over 10,000 attendees. The event took place in Miami Beach and was the brainchild of founders Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes. Initially conceived as a one-day celebration to spotlight both DJs and performers, the festival has since experienced rapid growth.

  1. Trolls never sleep at UMF

In one of the most iconic trolling moves in the electronic music scene, DJ Snake pranked Dillon Francis by displaying his phone number on the big screen during his 2015 main stage set. He then invited Francis to join him for their collaboration, ‘Get Low.’ While the performance was a hit, Francis found himself bombarded with calls and messages from fans. This notorious incident ranks high among music trolls, along with deadmau5‘s 2014 stunt of playing Martin Garrix‘s ‘Animals’ to the melody of ‘Old McDonald Had A Farm’.

  1. Martin Garrix became the youngest DJ to ever perform at the festival in 2014

At the age of 16, Martin Garrix skyrocketed to fame with his release ‘Animals,’ becoming the youngest DJ to grace the Ultra Miami main stage. His unforgettable 2014 set featured monumental tracks like ‘Turn Up The Speakers’ with Afrojack, ‘Proxy,’ and ‘Wizard’ with Jay Hardway. He also made waves that year by bringing Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike on stage to premiere their yet-to-be-released collaboration ‘Tremor.’ The Dutch DJ and producer has since performed at Ultra almost every year since, with the exception of 2018. Garrix is set to headline UMF this March too.

  1. UMF has their very own sustainability program

‘Mission: Home’ is Ultra’s very own sustainability initiative that strives to make conscious efforts to minimize waste, combat pollution, conserve natural resources, involve the community, and address climate change. The program is centered around five core goals: Waste Reduction, Pollution Prevention, Nature Preservation, Community Engagement, and Climate Action. It has garnered recognition and accolades on the global, national, and local stages. Most recently, UMF secured the Sustainability Team Award at the World Sustainability Awards in Amsterdam, which highlights the festival’s exceptional commitment to integrating sustainability into its core values.

  1. Ultra got its name in an unexpected way

Russell Faibisch, one of Ultra‘s organizers, recalled during an interview with the Miami New Times that the pivotal moment for the festival’s name came to him during Depeche Mode‘s ‘Devotion Tour’ at the Miami Arena in 1993. “It was then that everything clicked for me,” Faibisch said. The festival derived its name from Depeche Mode‘s 1997 album title, ‘Ultra’.

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