The long-awaited return of Ultra Miami to Bayfront Park

Ultra Miami successfully returned to its privileged Bayfront Park 4 years after it was held on Virginia Key.

Bayfront Park. You could relate it to a Miami tourist spot on the shore of the bay, but for fans of electronic music it's one of the most special places to attend. After moving to Virginia Key in 2019, returning to its actual location was a necessity. After officially got it for its 2020 edition, the pandemic prevented its return until 2 years later, as along with Tomorrowland Winter, they were the first two major festivals to be canceled due to the pandemic. Fortunately, we enjoyed this comeback at Bayfront Park and we'll tell you what our eyes saw.

Given the numerous cancellations of events, Ultra offered various rewards for buying the ticket, as refund wasn't one of the options. Possibility of attend another festival Ultra Worldwide that wasn't Ultra Miami, a upgrade to PGA (Premium General Admission) in case you had the GA ticket (General Admission) and the access to new ticket sales that lasted a few minutes, among many other options. Through the PGA ticket you could access through a parallel entrance to those who purchased their GA tickets, although having bought so many people, the GA ticket in 2020 didn't change in any particular way. Yes, in the bathrooms, since the wait wasn't that long and they were much better than those located in the festival.

We started the first day of the festival with Anfisa Letyago at Carl Cox Megastructure. It's always a bit tricky being the first artist to play, as you may not fill the stage until mid-set. Even so, she transmitted from minute 1 that energy that characterizes her and that has led her to perform for both Cercle and Formula 1. The presence of numerous exclusive performances during the 3 days made it difficult to choose which sets to go to, although we finally opted for the Live Stage.

Starting with Ookay, ending with Alison Wonderland. As a curiosity, we've been fortunate to enjoy Sullivan King's live, since 2 days later he would have had to cancel his performance due to the birth of his son. SVDDEN DEATH introduced himself as VOYD, which was one of the biggest advantages of the 2022 lineup and Alison presented several of her new tracks included in her next album 'Loner'. We moved to the mainstage to see Martin Garrix, where he premiered a lot of IDs. Some of them will be included in his album Sentio, which will be released at the end of the month. Finally, Kygo ended the first day with a surprising performance with a more than special guest: 50 Cent.

The opening doors for the second day was at 12, so we took the opportunity to enjoy all the stages and see the entire Ultra venue. We started on the Mainstage to see Jeffrey Sutorius, one of the artists most loved by all Ultranauts and by his own speaker Damian Pinto. Afterwards, we alternated between stages to see William Black at Gud Vibrations and Slushii at Worldwide Stage, the latter with an incredible staging. We went back to Gud Vibrations to see Space Laces, who in addition to killing the stage played his collaboration with Skrillex again. Special Guest couldn't be other than own Gud Vibrations, who even invited Georgia Ku to play their collaboration 'Shell Shock'. Probably one of the moments with the highest number of people at UMF Radio.

We continued the night on the mainstage with Afrojack with full of IDs alongside Cesqueaux, Kura and Dr. Phunk among others, pleasantly surprising us. Deciding between DJ Snake and Jauz b2b NGHTMRE was one of the toughest decisions of the festival. We decided on DJ Snake due to the large number of people in the mainstage waiting for Illenium. Totally understandable, since Illenium's set was possibly the best of the festival. Mixing his own songs with progressive classics, premiering a collaboration with Marshmello and showing why he's one of the idols in the Us. He exceeded all expectations. 10/10.

The day we least expected to arrive, was already here. Last day of Ultra Miami, but it was a special day for us. Dirty Workz landed at Ultra Miami to bring hardstyle to the festival for the first time. In 2020 only Coone was confirmed and the line up update for 2022 brought its own host. Audiofreq, who has toured events throughout America, was one of the first artists we saw on UMF Radio. We alternate the set of him together with Amelie Lens, who shook the Megastructure with his typical bombs. Before heading back to UMF Radio, we stopped at the Worldwide Stage to see Krewella. 'Live For The Night', 'No Regrets', 'Alive'... a perfect 'throwback' to another era. Turn of Sub Zero Project.

Sub Zero Project at Ultra 2022 / via Joey Timmer

After consolidating as number 1 (even also in second position) in the Q-dance Hardstyle Top 100) and announcing their new show days before 'Renaissance of Rave', the opportunity to play at Ultra appeared. Their most recent track called 'Lions', Intents anthem 'Heroes of The Night' and even several nods to Rebelion with 'City Lights' and their remix to 'Titanium' were part of the tracklist. We witnessed the beginning of Coone before going to the mainstage to see the closing of Armin van Buuren. Every step that hardstyle takes, Coone has a lot to blame. He has been a pioneer in many of the stages of hardstyle, such as playing in the mainstage of Tomorrowland or being the first confirmed in Ultra (as we mentioned before, he was the only one confirmed in 2020).

As in the first 2 days, we went to the mainstage to end the day. David Guetta was the last artist before the expected Special Guest arrived. We all believed that Morten would appear, as their performance in Miami was canceled due to the curfew in Miami Beach. So it was, and he wasn't the only guest. Kodak Black and Joel Corry also joined the set.

David Guetta & MORTEN at Ultra 2022 / via Rukes

Finally, the expected moment for all attendees: the Special Guest. The trolling was incredible. When everyone was waiting for Hardwell, Swedish House Mafia logo appeared on both sides of the stage, only just for announce their album and their announcement as headliners for Ultra 2023. It only lasted a few minutes and Hardwell appeared on stage. Honestly, we couldn't describe this performance. Accustomed to a Hardwell full of mashups, tracks that marked an era and that charisma that made it so different from the rest, we find a darker and quieter Hardwell. A new style that we'd not know how to define that some liked and others didn't. A new Hardwell, a new genre and a new album which he will present on his tour of the world's biggest festivals. Rebels Never Die.

What a experience. Personally, I've a special affection for Ultra. It was one of the first festivals that I discovered 10 years ago and that I was able to visit 5 years ago for the first time. Once you're there, it's totally amazing. It's the best location for a festival, although at times it's too small. You look around and the city is completely illuminated. An experience that you must live once in a lifetime. The golden retirement of many artists, the return of many others. Ultra Miami will always have a privileged area in the 'Hall of Fame' of electronic music. It marks the beginning of the festivals, as well as the premiere of many artist tracks. In case you want to attend, you can find in our guide all the tips, recommendations and information necessary to travel. See you at Ultra Miami 2023?

About Erik

One summer of 2014 I wondered what an electronic music festival would be like and 5 years later, I wonder what would become of me without such a festival regularly..

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