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Ultra Music Festival’s New Vibe – For Better or Worse?

Ultra Music Festival’s New Vibe – For Better or Worse?
Nothing makes me happier than that special time of year, when the streets I walk, in the city I call home, are transformed into a glorious raver playground. For 17 years, Miami was just Miami to me, but after my first Ultra, it never looked the same again. Every time I drive down Biscayne Blvd, I see the lights and hear the music in my head. For 7 years Ultra has been the highlight of my year, the festival that trumps all other festivals. I spent weeks preparing, planning, making outfits, and listening to old Ultra sets to get pumped. When that magical day finally arrived, I went through my usual Ultra routine, picked up my business cards because that’s how last minute I really do things, and then made my way to Downtown. I parked at my usual garage, began my walk to Ultra, and started turning heads.

Day 1: I wore a Victoria’s Secret LOVE PINK inspired outfit featuring one of my handmade designs and my  iHeartRaves’ Light Up Cropped Fur Jacket!

Devon Winston Ultra 2015 Day 2

Day 2: This was by far my favorite outfit! I wore one of my handmade designs, with my iHeartRaves’ Deluxe Unicorn Hood, White Leg Wraps, White Fluffies, and Glitter Stack Boots.

Devon Winston Ultra 2015 Day 3

Day 3: I was a goth kitty =^.^= I didn’t have time to finish my bra so I just kept it simple!

Now the weather in Miami is always pretty unpredictable, but it seems the one thing you can count on when it comes to Ultra these days is that it will rain at least one of the days and probably even get freakishly cold considering it’s spring. I considered this while planning my outfits and I purchased the iHeartRaves Light Up Cropped Fur Jacket, and it was PERFECT! Not only did I get tons of complements or cheers as I walked by groups of people, but it kept me perfectly warm, even after it got completely soaked! That jacket literally got me through the 2 hour downpour, while many others huddled together for warmth. The rain spoiled more than just our spirits, 2 of the stages were shut down, and my hopes of seeing Odesza were washed away. But luckily that was the end of the rain, the rest of the weekend was clear skies.

Ultra has changed a lot over the years, for better and for worse. The light and stage production at Ultra improves every year and is sure to blow your mind! Ultra is definitely the most epic music festival, but it’s also turned into more of a giant raging party, than an enlightening experience. Ultra has become an over commercialized event where you hear a lot of the same mainstream music, and apparently big name pop stars like Justin Bieber and P. Diddy, of all people, perform the grand finale. For most Miami people, it was epic, but for most die-hard ravers, it was sad and even a bit infuriating. Ultra usually ends with an epic bang, but this year it kind of just fizzled out over the last hour. My group and I walked from stage to stage, just trying to find the one with the most energy, and Ultra looked like a party that everyone had left early. Aside from a dull close, there were some great sets. Armin rocked the Main Stage and went really deep, which was a pretty awesome. Axwell Ingrosso brought me back to the glory years of EDM, when Swedish House Mafia reigned all. They played all of my favorites, and closed out the festival with Don’t You Worry Child, the entire crowd chanting to words! Check out the video below:

Tiesto closed his set with a weird “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets trance, but everyone seemed to be digging it. Avicii showed up for once! He opened with Levels, which couldn’t have made me happier. And while I was glad to hear “Fade into Darkness” and “Blessed,” I wish he would’ve played more of his older hits from his Tim Berg Years, but a girl can only dream. I was late to Galantis but I listened to their Ultra set on SoundCloud and it was pretty damn good, I think we can be expecting more from Galalntis this year. Last but not least, while there were a lot of great sets at Ultra, my favorite by far, (and I knew it would be) was Porter Robinson. I’m going to write another post specifically about Porter’s performance, but for now I will just say, if you haven’t checked out Porter Robinson’s Worlds Album or Tour, you really need to. I saw Porter on his Worlds tour back in October, and it moved me.

The last thing I have to say about Ultra this year was that there was a serious lack of creativity this year. Whether is was due to the weather conditions, the new 18+ limitation, or all of the new rules and policies, the outfits this year were all very plain. We weren’t allowed masks, totems, or even backpacks, so no Deadmau5 heads, Hello Kitty backpacks, or Ron Burgundy totems. Ultra came and went very quickly; and while it’s been my favorite festival for the last 8 years, I’m honestly more excited about EDC Vegas, and TomorrowWorld. I’m anxious to see how Ultra continues to evolve over the years, but I might just be watching from the live stream next year.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Ultra?

About The Author

Devon Winston

Devon was born and raised in Miami. She has always had a passion for art and music, but she fell in love with raving after her first Ultrafest in 2009. Devon developed her own line of custom rave outfits in 2014. Her favorite artists include: Porter Robinson, Above & Beyond, Dash Berlin, Kaskade, and Morgan Page.

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