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Ultra Miami Stuns Us With Their 20th Anniversary (DMNW Review)

One of the biggest and most infamous music festivals, Ultra Miami, turned 20 this year and DMNW had the chance to join the party. Over 165,000 attendees from over 60 countries filled up Bayfront park for 3 days of music, art, and festivities. Every year, there are surprise appearances but this year stood out  with the Swedish House Mafia reunion. For music lovers who couldn’t attend the festival, Ultra Live had attracted over 30,000,000 viewers with #ULTRA20 being the #1 trending topic on social media platforms globally. For everyone planning to join in on the experience, Ultra has confirmed the dates for 2019 to be March 29th through 31st.

Now to break down this year’s event:

Entry and Exit

Depending on when you arrive, the GA gates for entry can get a little crowded. There are many street team members and signs to point you to the right direction for entry and answer any other questions. Instead of wristbands like many festivals, Ultra has tickets which are scanned upon entering the venue. Make sure you put them in a secure spot because once you lose it, it’s gone. Security seemed to move at a pretty fast pace. For exit, if you are staying until the end of the show every night, be prepared to wait and stand in line. It can get pretty chaotic once you exit the festival, however, if you are willing to walk a mile, it’s way easier to find that cheap Uber. Overall, for such a huge festival, the entry and exit are pretty good for what it is.

Venue and Stages

The venue is at Bayfront Park in the middle of Miami. The park is located next to the water so it can get a little cold at night (especially on day 1 this year…) The venue itself is smaller than you might imagine. From live stream it seems massive, however, being there in person, it’s a whole different story. Nothing to complain about though since getting from stage to stage is smooth and quick. The stages are located within steps from each other with the main stage further than the rest. The production of the different stages shows character, and each is built completely different from one another. They’re just, insane. Fireworks light up the night at main stage every night, fire shooters go off during every set, confetti everywhere, pretty much what you expect from Ultra, but better.

Photo: aLIVE Coverage

Food and Vendors

There were tons of food and vendors to choose from at Ultra. From your typical festival food to some of the best food trucks in Miami, you can find it all inside the venue located in one spot. The merch booths were also located throughout the venue with one massive “merch shop” where you can find all kinds of Ultra 2018 souvenirs. For beverages to quench the thirst in the Miami heat, you can find booths and stands to buy water pretty much at every stage.


Day 1: the act that stood out the most was the Gud Vibration with Slander B2B Nghtmre set at the Ultra Worldwide stage. The crowd was hyped on energy for the entire time and the set itself was the definition of hard. Day 2 was the day of special appearances, from Marshmello bringing out Will Smith to The Chainsmokers bringing out Halsey, everyone was bringing their best to the turntables. Day 3, also known as Swedish House Mafia day.

The day that everyone was waiting for, many even traveled to Ultra this year for this reunion. When the Swedish House Mafia set started, all the other stages were almost empty. It seemed like the whole festival came out to see the reunion. And of course, it was amazing. So much emotion filled the air at main stage during the first drop. A sight that many will remember forever. Across the park, RL Grime threw an amazing bass set for the packed Worldwide Stage and bringing out Daya as the special guest for his final song, I Wanna Know.

Photo: aLIVE Coverage


Ultra is a festival that every festival lover needs to experience. People travel from all over the world to attend the festival, and after witnessing it firsthand, we stand with their decisions. From the production to overall experience, Ultra knows how to please the fans. Some main tips that we have for Ultra? Bring sunscreen for the daytime, a jacket for the night time, hydrate on tons of water and start planning your Ultra 2019 trip now instead of watching it on the live stream next year.

Photo: Philippe Wuyts

What was your favorite part of Ultra 2018? Let us know in the comments below!


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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!