Every March, usually early in the month, Miami, Florida is filled with music. Industry professionals—artists, promoters, DJs, A&R reps, and producers—gather there for a one-week conference devoted to all the various sub-genres associated with electronic music. The biggest and most anticipated part of this event is the Ultra Music Festival in Bicentennial Park, which is located in downtown Miami. The Ultra Music Festival began as a one-day event in South Beach in 1999, but its popularity required organizers to stretch it into two days. Over time it has evolved, and since 2011 it has been a three-day festival.
The popularity of the event was demonstrated when ticket sales for the 2012 festival caused ticket-vendors’ servers to crash. Tickets priced as high as $229 sold out in only twenty minutes. Past artist lineups have included Perry Farrell , the Black-eyed Peas , Prodigy , and Rabbit in the Moon .
Traveling to the Ultra Music Festival
Miami is the largest city—indeed, the biggest metropolitan area—in all of Florida. The best way to get to the Ultra Music Festival is to fly, and the best airport to fly into is Miami International Airport. If you prefer to drive, the simplest way to get to Miami is to take I-95 from anywhere on the East Coast, even from as far away as Boston or New York. If you’re driving from Texas or California, take I-10 all the way to Jacksonville, which connects you to I-95 South. Traffic can be expected to be heavy, so, again, flying is a better way to go.
Festival Lodging Options
As noted above, traffic can be expected to be heavy; this is because the Ultra Music Festival draws about 100,000 people each year and the Miami Winter Music Conference surrounding it draws about 300,000. Therefore, you can expect hotels and hostels to fill up quickly. Miami vacation rentals are a fantastic option, as they have enough space for many people to stay in and do not tend to fill up as quickly as hotels do during popular events. Miami vacation rental homes are also extremely comfortable, and they allow you to experience a travel destination in the same way the locals do and to live among them as a neighbor. They also generally offer kitchens and room to spread out and relax.
Ultra Music Festival History
The first Ultra Music Festival was put on in South Beach on one day at the conclusion of the 1999 Miami Winter Music Conference, and notable highlights included performances by DJ Baby Ann and Rabbit in the Moon . It was such a huge success that it has been brought back every year since. Attendance rose so sharply between 1999 and 2000 that the following year, the festival had to be moved to Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. Performers that year included Photek, DJ Craze, and a returning Rabbit in the Moon. The 2014 Ultra Music Festival will be held in Downtown Miami and it will run from March 28–30 .