Experience Ultra before leaving Miami

When I first came to Miami, I had honestly never heard of Ultra Music Festival (UMF) and I had no idea what it was about. I didn’t really listen to electronic dance music (EDM) before college, and when my friends started buying their tickets to the music festival, I held off. Did I really need to spend that much money for a genre of music I didn’t care about?

For those of you who have experienced the unique crowds, intricate sets and community of love, you know the greatness that this weekend holds. For the rest of you, here’s why you should experience Ultra at least once before leaving Miami.

During my freshman year, spring rapidly approached, and my knowledge of EDM was still pretty basic. But I’m a music lover, so I caved. I decided that I would buy day passes from people rather than drop the hundreds of dollars I certainly did not want to spend.

I recommend this to anyone uncertain about buying a ticket. Buying one-day tickets from a friend – or even a stranger – will save you money but still give you the experience Ultra-enthusiasts rave about.

The crowd that Ultra attracts is every people-watcher’s dream. You will never see this many different types of people from all over the world in crazy outfits, dancing around and singing. Frankly, this was almost as much entertainment as the music itself.

The people at Ultra will teach you that sometimes strangers show you kindness that you will never be able to repay. Complete strangers have saved me from crazy crowd surfers and picked up my friend’s phone when it fell out of her pocket. It’s moments like these that give you hope for humanity.

The best part of Ultra, though, is being in a seemingly infinite crowd of people connected by a beat. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, you are exactly the type of person I’m writing this for. A crowd of thousands, singing and dancing to the same song, isn’t something you can read about and understand; you must experience it.

Sure, there will be people who say that they’re “boycotting” Ultra this year because of the increased price, or who insist that the crowds that mob Bayfront Park don’t care about the music, just the party. But if you’re like how I was, a freshman torn between going or not, consider it.

Most of us don’t stay in Miami after college, and UMF is a staple of Miami’s culture that you don’t want to miss.


Jamie Servidio is a sophomore majoring in journalism.