With Ultra Music Festival this weekend, we thought the least we could do was set you up with our top 10 acts you must see. This week seemed like it would never come with the new venue drama. Yet, the show must go on and Ultra’s new home is already looking better than ever. Start planning your schedule and stocking up on earplugs.
This duo comprises Boys Noize and Skrillex. Is there anything else that really needs to be added? Dog Blood came to fruition in 2012 with the release of their Middle Finger EP. Last year, Dog Blood announced another tour and hasn’t played Ultra since 2013. Expect anything and everything: house, techno, dubstep, hip-hop, and loads of craziness as this dynamic duo destroys Ultra Worldwide. Ultra Worldwide, Friday, 11:15 p.m.
Carl Cox b2b Marco Carola
There isn’t another DJ who can handle Ultra’s sound system like Carl Cox. His stadium techno sound and perpetual source of untapped energy make him a mandatory must-see. Ultra’s newest techno creation, Resistance, caters to the underground scene with an utterly stacked lineup. Better yet, Ultra will be giving its techno die-hards their very own island with the best techno and house DJs. The Carl Cox Megastructure, one of Resistance’s stages, will be there the entire weekend. This is a long way from its usual two-day slot. While Carl will be playing all three days, he will be joined by Italy’s Marco Carola on Saturday. Between the often Balearic bass of Carl combined with the flawless transition of Marco, this will be Ibiza meets Miami. Carl Cox Mega Structure, Saturday, 12:00 a.m.
Nora En Pure left us breathless during her set last year. The delicate and groovy mixture of deep house and indie kept the crowd in a hypnotic daze during the afternoon set. Ultra seemed to have listened as well and decided to give her an afternoon slot on Friday. The deep grooves of Nora, combined with the still waters that will surround the festival, will be a perfect way to start off the weekend madness. Main Stage, Friday 4 p.m.
Get ready to go down a wormhole. The psychedelic quartet will be taking the decks of A State of Trance on Sunday. Expect high BPM, lifting melodies, and an acid rainstorm of psy-trance. Infected Mushroom has not grown to fame for their subtlety. Perhaps the more euphoric breaks of Vini Vici will help even out the crowd from going into a completely trance frenzy.
A State of Trance, Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
Deadmau5 / Testpilot
Very few things can challenge deadmau5. His creative ability to produce and perform is something not many DJs could ever fathom. If you are into electronic music, seeing deadmau5 almost becomes a prerequisite before you can call yourself a fan of electronic music. This year, deadmau5 will be debuting his Cube 3.0 stage structure — a DJ deck littered with LED panels. Details on that have remained fairly hidden; Ultra sure does love secrets. Experience a legend with new stage design in a new location. Not a fan of Deadmau5? Well how about you see his techno alias, Testpilot on Sunday? Who doesn’t love change? Live Arena, Saturday, 12:30 a.m. / Resistance Reflektor, Sunday 12:00 a.m.
Dubfire b2b Nicole Moudaber b2b Paco Osuna
Ultra’s favorite trio is back with another installment of no holds barred techno. PLAYdifferently will be hosting the Reflektor stage that day and will bring hours of deep and minimal techno via acts like Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber, and Paco Osuna. Last year’s set brought literal ground-shaking bass to Miami as the trio transitioned endlessly under the Miami sun. Three legends, three MODEL 1 mixers, endless possibilities. Saturday, Reflektor, 12 a.m.
It’s only fair that we include some Miami talent into the mix. Afrobeta has been playing Ultra for years and has been a hometown favorite. Cuci Amador and Tony Smurphio make up the duo. They always leave attendees with an unforgettable blend of electronic and indie sounds with experienced yet refreshing showmanship. Let Afrobeta officially greet you when those longly awaited gates finally open. Live Arena, Friday, 2 p.m.
Calm down. We all know Tom Morello, guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, doesn’t scream electronic music. However, his roots are more electronic and hip-hop orientated than one might expect. Tom Morello has stretched the paradigm of how a guitar should should since we were in diapers. His manipulated guitar effects are influenced by early West Coast hip-hop DJ’s which brought his bands to unfounded heights. Plus, are we just going to forget he preformed with Knife Party during Ultra 2016? On top of that, He is a Harvard educated political activist and has years of touring in his resume. Why wouldn’t you check out a mastermind shred during Ultra?
Live Arena, Friday, 7 p.m.
Oliver Heldens has a keen ability to quickly and effortlessly transition from genre to genre. He brings the crowd through a rollercoaster where you enjoy every second and feel almost lightweight through tales of EDM and house. Oliver was one of the earlier slots last year, so let’s see what he brings to help close it out this year. Main Stage, Sunday, 7:35 p.m.
Maceo is never one to disappoint. His melodic tracks keep you light on your feet while his more acid-centric sounds have you going into a dancing frenzy. Although considering he is playing after Carl Cox and before Adam Beyer, you should prepare for the latter — hard-hitting bass that his eloquently entangled with claps and snares from his weapon of choice: the Pioneer RMX-1000 Remix Station. Carl Cox Megastructure, Sunday, 10:00 p.m.
Find more information at Ultramusicfestival.com.
Update: Eric Prydz has cancelled all Miami shows.