If you’re coming to town for Ultra Music Festival, welcome to Miami!
Sorry traffic is so bad and public transportation leaves a lot to be desired. We know.
But look on the bright side. You will get your fill of neon clothing, heart-thumping electronic dance music and hopefully — but no guarantees in South Florida — sunshine.
Here are seven tips for surviving the three-day EDM party that is expected to draw about 50,000 people a day.
Let’s face it — it’s probably going to be warm and humid (and plus dancing can wear you down). Invest in one of those water backpacks, called hydration packs, which you can take to the festival if it’s empty. You can’t bring any drinks in, so hydration packs can come in handy. There are two water-fill stations located in Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd.
While anything goes, we suggest keeping comfort in mind. After a whole lot of dancing, you’ll be happier if your feet aren’t rebelling. So we recommend closed-toed shoes, a hat to keep your head covered, and sunglasses may help, too. And some ear plugs might help you conserve your hearing while headliners such as Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Avicii and deadmau5 rock downtown Miami.
Driving is pretty much the worst idea. While Miami police are detouring traffic and preparing for congestion, taking a bus, Uber, taxi, Metromover — pretty much anything but your own car — makes sense. But if you insist on driving, make sure you check the rules of the parking lot, so your car is not trapped when you are ready to leave. For those taking Uber, get dropped off at the Rider Lounge at the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Sixth Street from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
If you don’t have tickets, don’t go
This is not one of those festivals that you can show up at and just expect to get in. Tickets have been sold out for weeks. There are some tickets being resold on sites including StubHub and eBay, but expect to pay much more than face value.
If you do have tickets, go prepared
To make the best of your experience, visit Ultra’s website in advance and know which acts you want to see. Try to have a general idea where things are including emergency stations. There’s nothing worse than missing your favorite act because you don’t know where they are playing.
Have a meet-up plan
With 50,000 people in one place, people are bound to get separated — and keep in mind cellphone service may not be reliable with that many people. So when you get there (or even before if you studied the map) come up with a place to meet at a certain time in case you lose each other.
If you are not going, stay away
This is probably the most important survival tip — for everyone who is not going. While we don’t want to hurt businesses downtown, we know being stuck in hours-long traffic is no fun. And if you’re too far but want to keep up with the peace, love, unity and respect (a credo in electronic dance music culture) follow #PLUR on social media and stream the shows on Ultra’s website.