Avicii has the type of relationship with Miami Music Week that most artists dream of, outdoing himself year after year, spectacle by spectacle. On South Beach, he’s had shuttle buses in 2011, ice cream trucks in 2012, and his own hotel in 2013. In Downtown Miami, however, Tim’s legacy has taken on a life of its own. Madonna joined him on Ultra’s main stage last spring for a scene that would be nearly impossible to top, so the pressure was on to once again roll the dice on Ultra’s largest platform. After nearly an hour of quick mixing through an eclectic selection, he brought another set of talented musicians to his stage — only this time, he stirred the controversy without The Queen of Pop.
With less than 30 minutes of his time slot remaining, there was an sudden, silent pause before a live band took the stage to join Avicii in premiering his debut artist album. Without a “Levels” or a “Bromance” to entice his crowd, he took a risk — one worth taking when you’ve been the poster boy for innovating electronic music since your breakthrough single brought new life to its genre. Feedback has since been exchanged between fans, artists, and everyone in between — but was this year’s on-stage extravaganza revolutionary, or did the risk come without the reward? (more…)
There were hundreds of artists across seven stages at the world’s most renowned electronic music festival, but still some tracks were played dozens of times and were inescapable every day, at every stage. There are those special records that go down in the books as the year’s biggest tracks, and where better to make that judgement than at Ultra Music Festival. It is the tracks that become the unofficial anthems of Ultra that are immortalized in the memories of fans, and 360,000 fans now have ten major tracks to remember Ultra Musical Festival 2013 by…
They said namaste in India, adjö in Sweden, lebewohl in Germany, au revoir in France, dosvedanya in Russia, totsiens in South Africa, hooroo in Australia, and adiós in Mexico. It was time for Swedish House Mafia to say goodbye in America. It wasn’t easy; goodbyes are never easy. After closing global chapters it was time to shut the book and end the story — time for the biggest electronic act of a generation to close the curtains on their legacy. At the same site where it all began, they did so in the same grandiose fashion that they’ve done everything and anything since their stateside explosion. Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello stood together behind a DJ booth, turned off their brains and turned on their hearts for the last time to bring their dominance full circle at Ultra Music Festival.
“Do you guys know my name?” A strange question coming from a man who introduces himself with powerful shouts just about every time he touches down on stage. “The reason I’m playing as Nick van de Wall is because not everybody knows my real name.” If that had truly been the case, it no longer was after Friday of Ultra’s second weekend. The dark sky began to pour at Bayfront Park and the Jacked stage was the perfect storm. “I’m going to play shit I don’t always get to play, some of my favorite songs.” Shocked, I thought “Is he not going to play… ” but before I had finished my thought, he had finished it for me; “but that doesn’t mean I won’t play that Afrojack music!”
Ultra’s six-day party had to end eventually, right? Well it closed out strong on Saturday, beginning with trance chaos and ending with a goodbye to Swedish House Mafia. Everything in between, however, made day 3 of weekend two the biggest and best of this year’s event. While it was hard to leave Ultra behind, and even harder to pick standout moments, Dancing Astronaut was on site to bring you our memories of the final day.
In the middle of back-to-back Ultra performances for its fifteenth anniversary, we revisit Dirty South‘s set from the festival’s tenth anniversary in 2008. Five years ago Ultra was a two day affair with four stages, a few headliners, and Dirty South slotted amidst his ascension to dance music popularity. In a world without Speed Of Life, Dragan came equipped with work on Swedish records such as his remixes for Axwell’s “Let It Go” and for Buy Now’s “Body Crash.” The drop of his remix for Tracey Thorn’s “Grand Canyon” gives goosebumps time after time — listen below and find yourself in agreeance.
It happened almost 365 days ago, but it feels like only yesterday that Madonna strut to the center of Ultra Music Festival’s main stage to claim that she has been at Ultra in spirit for many years, that a DJ saved her life, and to ask the crowd how many people had seen Molly. These statements became so controversial, many had forgotten what she was actually doing on stage that night — introducing Avicii and premiering their “Girl Gone Wild” collaboration.
Avicii has reached into the depths of his USB for a long-lived, unidentified track to serve Ultra Music Festival with its third official 2013 anthem. Aptly titled and suitably anthemic, “UMF” had been among the ranks of the biggest drops in Avicii’s sets dating back to 2011 — originally sweeping the web labeled as “ID,” sharing the same origin of “Levels.” The production is instantly recognizable as a Tim Bergling production, not only because of its worldwide airplay, but from the masterful chord progression that’s swept his audiences since day one.
With the first weekend of Ultra Music Festival at a close, we count down some of its best moments. From Major Lazer stripping the crowd of their shirts to Zedd bearing some skin, there was no shortage of entertainment.
This morning we revisit Ultra Music Festival 2011, where everyone’s favorite fun-loving Frenchman, Martin Solveig, played an hour-long set at the UMF Korea stage. In typical Solveig fashion, he gave the crowd a set filled with unique mash ups and remixes, slipping in crowd favorites through and through. The pre-SmashSolveig delivered a captivating performance as he interacted with his audience and electrified Ultra on a Friday afternoon in Miami. Two years later, a post-Smash Martin readies to play the Main Stage this Friday at Ultra. Jump past the break for the full tracklist.