Miami Ultra - The World Wide Movement
Monday 27th February 2017 | Serena
‘No, you are not allowed to go to a rave in America’ I remember as my mother gawps at pictures of girls in next to nothing on a flyer I took home. At the time, I was a teen, I wanted to be a nice proper lady like my mother and avoided rave culture for as long as I could, thinking I would never hear the word ‘Ultra’ or ‘rave’ again… Boy was I wrong.
What I found instead, along with most English millennials was a deep rooted passion for underground music. The 90’s gave birth not just to the Spice Girls but Dupstep, House, Garage and Techno, all sub cultures within themselves, these genres all of which tell a story and speak out to people internationally regardless of their roots. Flash forward 10 years later, and all of these loved genres find themselves a home at raves. There is no ignoring this culture anymore. Dance tracks saturate the charts and electronic music becomes mainstream across the globe. As one hipster side of me knows that I started listening to progressive house way before it was cool, the other side thinks it’s about damn time raves became globally accepted.
With so much polarisation going on in all corners of the Earth, we can be sure of one thing: Unity through music. Since the dawn of rave culture in the 90s Ultra made its mark by bringing electronic music to the beaches of Miami. While 19 years ago EDM, Dubstep and house were being conceptualised in dingy clubs all over europe, game changers Russell Faibisch the late Alex Omes decided to give this music a platform on US soil. Then named Ultra on the Beach, Omes and Faibisch were the first to push the bar with underground and not well known acts including a few regular british headliners such as Carl Cox and Paul Oakenfold. Within one year the Ultra millennium celebrations grew from a sizeable 7000 to a crowd of 50,000 people. Making Ultra THE destination for international electronic music.
Ultra Miami in its 19th year of operation now boasts eight stages including one that will look familiar to Glastonbury goers, Arcadia Spectacular, the world's favourite mechanical spider. Now staging live acts such as Chase & Status, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, Justice, Major Lazer, ZHU, and 90s electro pioneers The Prodigy. The full line up can be seen below. With such a strong line up it does make you wonder what they have under their sleeves for their milestone 20th anniversary next year?
Anyone who owns a TV or indeed has access to the internet will witness things that shows unbearable discourse in the world. Ultra will not be one of those things. With Ultra 2016 being the most viewed festival in history as their live feed receives 14 million views from 152 countries you can be sure that there will always be incredible solidarity in music. Just as the industry grows thrillingly mainstream we can only hope that the message of unity at Ultra becomes mainstream also.
Ultra is now a worldwide movement in 62 countries. Thats 62 countries in alignment with each other, 62 countries regardless of language and culture being brought together by something intrinsic. 62 countries including USA saying ‘Hey.. Let’s dance!’ A beacon of inclusivity where numerous flags all wave together at once. Ultra is and always will be an ultimate unifying force, and that's something to certainly celebrate. Whether you agree with the establishment or not, your very presence at ultra is a protest to any separatist system in place, while March for us in the UK is still grey bitter with waves of Brexit all over, there is a pocket of heaven across the pond that's Ultra Miami.
You can find The official travel to Ultra partner here
Don’t forget to check out last year's aftermovie here:
Are you going to Ultra 2017 or have you been previously? Tell us your experiences below.