Miami Residents Launch Petition To Kick Ultra Music Festival Out Of The City

Ultra Music Festival has called Miami home since 1999, now a three-day event that marks the end of Miami Music Week each March.

The festival has moved several times, first taking place on South Beach and more recently switching from Bayfront Park to Bicentennial Park and then back to Bayfront Park in the downtown area. Ultra’s contract with Bayfront Park is about to expire, however, and nearby residents have been collecting signatures to ensure it does not get renewed.

The petition, which counts more than 1,100 signees as of time of writing, targets both Ultra and hip-hop festival Rolling Loud, and was delivered yesterday at the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.

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Meet Steve Lieberman, the Production Lighting Expert Behind Coachella, EDC and Ultra Music Festival

Lighting and audio-visuals are an aspect of event production that can at times be overlooked or misunderstood. Nevertheless, it is an important element that can make or break any event, as well as the experience overall and the lasting brand image you hope your attendees leave with. Undoubtedly, extreme technical expertise and a sense of flair are needed to pull off such a spectacle.

This particular expertise is the specialty of people like Steve Lieberman, a notable production lighting expert for music festivals and similar productions. Steve has worked on the lights and visual design of hundreds of productions, including popular music festivals such as Coachella, EDC, Insomniac, and Ultra. His is expertise drawn from years of experience, beginning in the 1990s when he started working on lighting for underground rave parties in New York.

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Sasha and John Digweed Announce Resistance World Tour and Ibiza Residency

Last year we fooled the world with an April Fools article announcing a Sasha and John Digweed reunion tour. Later that week we turned out to be modern-day Nostradamus when the duo announced their Social UK gig for later in the year, a prelude of what has now become a reality: Sasha and John Digweed are embarking on a worldwide tour together.

The two iconic musicians have already announced joint sets in the past few months, such as at EDC Mexico and the upcoming Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Now, the two producers have revealed their plans for the RESISTANCE Worldwide Ultra Tour, a journey that will see them travel to several key world destinations as well as appear six times at Privilege Ibiza for Ultra’a Resistance brand’s first ever residency on the island.

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#TBT Series: How Much Has ULTRA Changed Since The First Ultra Beach Festival in 1999? [VIDEOS]


In this week’s #TBT Series edition, we travel back in time to March 13th 1999 where, on the warm shores of South Beach a true festival sensation was born.

On that day, thousands traveled to Miami  to attend the inaugural edition of what would eventually become Ultra Music Festival. The now three-day event was originally founded and produced as a one-day affair by Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes. Faibisch was inspired Depeche Mode’s 1997 album Ultra, which is where the event got its name from. That first year the event was held at Collins Park and coincided with the end of Winter Music Conference, attracting an estimated 10,000 people in attendance.

Despite its success, it is believed that the festival lost between $10,000 to $20,000 in its first year. Regardless, it came back the following year for its second and final edition on South Beach before expansion saw the event move in 2001 to Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami.

As the flyer for 1999 shows, first year artists included Rabbit In The Moon, who returned to Ultra this past March, drum and bass maestro LTJ Bukem, Armand Van Helden (also known as one half of Duck Sauce alongside A-Trak), Ovum boss Josh Wink, VIVa Music’s Steve Lawler as well as an onslaught of other European imports the likes of Seb Fontaine, Danny Rampling and Union Jack.

Ultra Beach Festival


Naturally, Ultra was a much smaller affair at first. The number of sponsors on the flyer alone paint the picture of what it took for Faibisch and Omes to kick start what would become a string of the most successful and well-known electronic music festivals around the globe.

The Ultra Music Festival family has since expanded exponentially. Between 2006 and 2011 the festival moved to nearby Bicentennial Park only to move back to its home at Bayfront where it still now resides. In honor of its fifteenth anniversary, the 2013 edition of the festival was held over two weekends, but reverted back to its three-day one weekend format the following year. 2016 saw the festival sell out and coincide with the end of Miami Music Week and beginning of Winter Music Conference.

The brand has become an international symbol for electronic music, holding festivals in Ibiza, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina; São Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Seoul, South Korea; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; Split and Hvar, Croatia; Bangkok, Thailand and Tokyo, Japan.

Below is a playlist containing series of interesting and revealing videos of just how it was like to be at that first Ultra in 1999. It is easy to see just how much things have changed since, both in the size and music influences of Ultra. It regardless makes for a perfect journey back in time to a world before massive electronic music festivals were a thing; to a world where Ultra was about to help lay the foundations for the future of such large-scale festivals in the United States and beyond.


Connect with Ultra: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Other articles in 6AM’s #TBT Series:

What Was It Like to Party in New York City in the Early 90’s?

Relive Some Of The Best Frankie Knuckles Moments Caught on Video

What Was It Like To Be At The First Ever DEMF/Movement in 2000?

How Amnesia Ibiza Changed The World of Clubbing in the Late 80s

6AM: Miami Music Week 2016 Live Set Playlist


Photo by Samuel Rivas

Another Miami Music Week is behind us and the live set recordings have began to pour in. As we mentioned in our editorial about the week, the landscape of MMW is changing, in part due to the divide from Winter Music Conference and in part due to the ever-evolving nature of the events being offered throughout Downtown Miami and South Beach.

With that said, the music still reigned supreme throughout the Miami area, with plenty of great sets from legends and newcomers alike. Unfortunately not all were recorded and not all that were have been published. In this article you can find a selection of our favorites compiled in a carefully selected playlist that captures the best of techno (unfortunately not much this year), tech house and house music delivered during MMW 2016. We will be updating this playlist regularly as more sets get released.

Included in the playlist are live recordings from Ultra’s Resistance and Carl Cox & Friends stages, as well as complete recordings from Do Not Sit By The Ocean, one of our favorite parties of the entire week.

We have been listening to these for the last 48 hours and below you can find some of our favorites followed by the entire playlist.

Armand van Helden b2b Jackmaster – All Gone Pete Tong Pool Party

This one-hour recording offers insight on the madness that was the back-to-back All Gone Pete Tong pool party at the Surfcomber Hotel in South Beach. The two stars out on a fantastic display of jacking house and grooves that surely had everyone dancing pool side the entire time.

Thugfucker – Resistance Stage at Ultra Music Festival

Greg Oreck and Holmar Filipsson, better known as duo Thugfucker, brought deep vibes to the Resistance Stage on Saturday afternoon with a classic signature sets of melodic deep house.

Deadmau5 b2b Eric Prydz – SiriusXM Miami Music Lounge at 1 Hotel South Beach

A lot was said about both Joel and Eric’s performances at the A State Of Trance stage at Ultra, but what some may have missed is the more iconic back-to-back set they played exclusively for SiriusXM at the Miami Music Lounge earlier in the week. Progressive house at its finest, with tracks that embody the styles of both producers, this went down as one of the most anticipated and acclaimed tandem set of the entire week.

Behrouz b2b YokoO – Do Not Sit By The Ocean

Set against one of the most beautiful party backdrops of the entire week, Do Not Sit By The Ocean consisted of 12 hours of top-notch house music by the likes of Lee Burridge, Alex Niggeman, Hoj and atish. Our favorite of the lot came from Do Not Sit boss Behrouz and his back-to-back with All Day I Dream rising star YokoO. Listen to this as you imagine Miami’s skyline, a marina with some of the city’s most impressive yachts, palm trees and you will live it exactly as I did.

Mind Against – Resistance Stage at Ultra Music Festival

It appears that the young Italian duo can do no wrong. Calling them rising stars would be a lie, for they have surely already secured their spot in the top tiers of today’s underground dance music scene. It is without a doubt that their brand of mesmerizing and dreamy techno remains as captivating and fresh as ever, a notion their set at Ultra is a testament to.


The Complete Playlist

Limiting ourselves to 5 choices would be doing a disservice. Enjoy the full playlist through SoundCloud below:

10 Parties to Attend at Miami Music Week 2016


Exactly two weeks from today, Miami will be invaded by tens of thousands of electronic music aficionados attending Miami Music Week. Although officially taking place between March 15th and 20th, the parties truly begin the weekend before and continue into the next week when Winter Music Conference gets underway.

Although there are over 150 parties to choose from, making it almost impossible to have a bad time, we have selected our 10 favorites to help you choose wisely.

Don’t forget to buy tickets in advance, as some of these will sell out. We recommend keeping hydrated, wearing ear plugs and looking out for one another. Remember: the music is what matters most! Read more

Ultra Japan to Host Resistance Stage

UltraJapanUltra Japan has announced their line-up for this years Resistance Stage. Earlier this year Ultra decided to widen their dance audience by bringing in the underground sound to their festival makeup. Ultra Miami brought in artists such as Tale of Us, Dixon, Joseph Capriarti, Guy Gerber, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, and Ultra is following a similar path for the Japanese edition. Ultra Japan will see the likes of Sasha and John Digweed, Nic Fanciulli, Harvard Bass, and Henry Saiz, among others. 

A handful of Japan’s finest and most respected DJ’s will also be making appearances on Ultra’s Resistance Stage. One of the most familiar names in the industry, Satoshi Tomiie, will hit the decks on the first day of the event along with Osamu M, a rising talent of Japan. Sugiurumn of Bass Works Recordings and DJ Sodeyama will play on the second day of the event and are sure to represent the country to the best of their musical abilities

Ultra Japan will take place On Sunday September 20th and Monday September 21st at Tokyo Odaiba Ultra Park. Stay up to date with Ultra by following the information below.

Ultra Japan: Official Website | Tickets 



The Best Underground Sets That Rocked Ultra 2015

UMF 2015

During Miami Music Week, the city becomes a dance music metropolis with different sounds and atmospheres everywhere you look. In between the frenzy of grooves in club land, many artists find themselves gracing the stage at the main event, Ultra Music Festival. This year saw an array of talented artists take their underground sound to the festival atmosphere, and as expected they held nothing back. Read more