Photo: Miami Herald (Getty Images)
Ultra Music Festival 2017 attendees were literally dancing in the rain this past weekend. Miami’s flagship EDM event didn’t let the tropical showers drown out the BPM’s as the sold-out, three-day event went off without a hitch regardless of the damp weather.
Also: Highlights | Ultra Music Festival 2016
Billed as the world’s premiere electronic music festival, Ultra Music Festival has received a lot of (much-deserved) heat the past couple years with the infamous stage collapse in 2013 and on-going issues involving sexual assaults, drug overdoses and over-crowding.
Although an estimated 55,000 people marched to Bayfront Park over three long days, things ran smoothly as the festival organizers seem to have learned from their mistakes and matured into a well-organized machine. Public transit, ample security and a “dance drug free zone” motto were fixtures of Ultra Music Festival 2017, which was still a (wet and) wild party that boasted the globe’s top EDM acts.
Day 1 of Ultra Music Festival 2017 featured a surprise appearance by Kygo on the Main Stage between Alesso and Martin Garrix, thrilling fans with his Selena Gomez collab “It Ain’t Me.” The Fate of the Furious star and aspiring singer Vin Diesel was spotted backstage getting his groove onto the jam that he did a special remix for.
Although Major Lazer was the Day 1 headliner, Diplo even got his own curated stage, Zhu was the big winner, as he sung and spun ’80s sexed-up Miami Vice noir (including an official remix of a new Gorillaz track) on a silhouetted stage, while being flanked by a guitarist and a saxophonist.
Day 2 was all about the hip-hop as a rogues gallery of rap stars appeared across Ultra Music Festival’s seven stages. 2Chainz joined Steve Aoki at the Main Stage for a massive rendition of their DVBBS collab “Without You,” while A$AP Ferg, Cypress Hill and Ice Cube lit up the crowd with their own sets.
Daft Punk may get all love, but it’s their French counterparts, Justice, who actually play live. The DJ/producing duo put an exclamation point (or in this case an LED cross) on Ultra Music Festival 2017 with a closing set (following-up DJ Snake) that had the tired crowd leaving downtown Miami with permanent emoji smile faces.