Christmas hasn’t even arrived yet, but it’s not too early to get psyched for the biggest dance-music event in the world.
The Ultra Music Festival rolls back into Miami for a 16th year, from March 28-30 at Bayfront Park, and an early look indicates that it’ll be more spectacular than ever.
Phase 1 of Ultra’s lineup (yes, it’s so enormous that the list of participating acts is revealed gradually) has just been announced, and the sonic firepower is enough for five festivals, let alone a fraction of one. Superstar DJ headliners so far include usual suspects Tiesto, David Guetta, Kaskade, Afrojack, Avicii, Diplo, Hardwell, Steve Angello, Above & Beyond, Nicky Romero, Krewella, Luciano, Alesso, Loco Dice, Marco Carola and Zedd, among others.
Most of the “supporting acts” could front festivals on their own. Here’s a partial list: Paul van Dyk, Pete Tong, Sander van Doorn, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Baby Anne, Nervo, Umek, Nic Fanciulli, Lee Burridge, Gareth Emery, Dubfire, DJ Icey, Datsik, Cazzette, Dillon Francis, Claude Vonstroke, Borgore, 12th Planet and Art Department.
Impressive, to be sure, but some Ultra fans look to the list of live performers as a measure of the festival’s true hip factor. While last year’s final lineup featured Snoop Dogg, Faithless, Hot Chip, Crystal Castles and Thievery Corporation, this year’s version is off to a sizzling start, landing super-cool acts Cut/Copy, MGMT, Basement Jaxx, Chase and Status, Dizzee Rascal, Eric Prydz presents Holo, 2 Many DJs, Empire of the Sun, The Glitch Mob, M.I.A., Trentemoller, Pusha T and many others.
And for the 10th time, British techno king Carl Cox will man his own tent, the Carl Cox & Friends Arena, with beat support to be announced. Also, Dutch progressive trance legend Armin van Buuren will host his A State of Trance 650 New Horizons Stage.
It’s all pretty overwhelming, but remember that this is only the beginning – Phase 2 will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for Ultra (VIP is all sold out) are $399.95; for more info, visit www.ultramusicfestival.com.