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Ultra 2017: The 5th Largest Music Festival in the US

Ultra Music Festival rBeatz

The Numbers

In 2014, Ultra Music Festival’s attendance was 160,000 festival goers.  This made it the 5th most attended music festival in the United States following Coachella (4th at 180k) Lollapalooza (3rd at 220k), Electric Daisy Carnival (2nd at 450k), and Austin City Limits (1st at 450k).

On the social media side of things, #Ultra was the third most popular festival hashtag with over 1,000,000 tags on Instagram, following #coachella and #warpedtour.

In 2014, Ultra had the 3rd biggest profit out of all the music festivals with a whopping $200 million made in profit, following Coachella (in 2nd with $254.4mm) and Electric Daisy Carnival (in 1st with $322.1mm), according to Complex. made a little over $180mmTo put this in perspective, The Revenant staring Leonardo DiCaprio, who won the Oscar for best-actor for the role, as the 14th most profitable movie in 2016.

Festivals these days are topping big time box office movies, and the trend is continuing to go up. Point is, these events are fun, thrilling, expensive, and worth it all at the same time. With the numbers to prove.

Now that we’ve hit the high-level, let’s dive into the final Lineup for the 2017 Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida.

The Lineup

Yesterday, the 3rd and final stage of the 2017 Ultra Lineup was announced, adding on to the already stacked list of performers. I have attended the festival twice (in 2013 and 2014), being one of the lucky guests to attend Swedish House Mafia’s last show.

Just so you know the kind of person that I am and my taste in music, I will admit that I slightly regretted not going to the beginning of Wolfgang Gartner and catching the last portion of SHM for the theatrics. Wolfgang is one of my favorite DJs to listen to live – he really knows how to throw a party and keep a mesmerizing melodic groove going. MOVING ALONG NOW!

The live headliners according to the 2017 Ultra App  to date will be Chase & Status, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, Justice, KSHMR, Major Lazer, The Prodigy, Rabbit in the Moon, Underworld, and ZHU.

The DJ headliners will be Above & Beyond, Adam Beyer, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Carl Cox, Dash Berlin, David Guetta, Dubfire, Galantis, Hardwell, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Maceo Plex, Marco Carola, Martin Garrix, Sasha & John Digweek, Seth Troxler, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki, Tale of Us, Tiësto, and Zedd.

The acts closing the mainstage each day will be Major Lazer (Friday), Axwell Λ Ingrosso (Saturday) and DJ Snake (Sunday). Click here to view a spreadsheet of the schedule if you can’t access the App for whatever reason.

Simply put, this lineup is stacked with headliners. Below I have a breakdown of popular acts, 3 different opinions on which shows to see, and the demographics of the acts.

According to the app at this time, the most liked acts are…

  1. Martin Garrix (1811 likes)
  2. Hardwell (1432 likes)
  3. Armin Van Buuren (1264 likes)
  4. Tiësto (1253 likes)
  5. DJ Snake (1203 likes)

The most scheduled acts (individuals adding the acts to their Ultra schedule) are…

  1. Martin Garrix (5740 scheduled)
  2. Tiësto (5143 scheduled)
  3. Armin Van Buuren (5120 scheduled)
  4. Alesso (5041 scheduled)
  5. Major Lazer (4994 scheduled)

The app contains an extremely easy to use scheduler, perfect for anyone attending the event. Below, I will go though my schedule, how I’m thinking about my day, acts I’m especially excited for, and conflicts. Just so you understand who I am and my personal taste, Dubstep was my first EDM love. I love low-end play. The artists I’ve probably seen the most is Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, and Skrillex. I enjoy electro-house from time to time and will dip my toes in trance, but I will mostly go for the heavier bass, trap, and rap.

Although there is NO WAY, I would stick to the schedule I set out, it’s important to know where you’re looking to go ahead of time. The schedule is of course subject to change based off whatever I feel like doing because I’m at a music festival and that’s the point 🙂

See my schedule below…

FRIDAY

Friday starts at a later time, the schedule was fairly easy for me to decide for this one because a lot of my favorite artists were playing. I’m looking forward to starting off the festival right with Korean DJ, Raiden‘s set on the Main Stage at 4pm. The weather is suppose to be nice, and I know Raiden is tried and true. Setting the day off with a good show will set the tone for the rest of the day. Don Diablo is coming in at the second spot, seeing if I can catch some of his set. Then the sultry smooth tropical sounds of Robin Schulz, then my lineup gets a bit tricky from here.

Grandtheft is so good at mixing quick transitions and keeping the party going while appeasing my ADD music ear, so I have to check him out for a bit, but I also want to catch the new, upcoming live act from Youngr – check his video in this post to see what you can expect from him.

I’ll take a bit of a break before I hit the hard hitting, dance styles of Party Favor, Feed Me, one of the tougher decisions of the night, Adventure Club, and obviously Major Lazer to end it all. Adventure Club and Major Lazer are some of my favorite musicians in the industry, so I had to forgo other options.

Newer Acts I’m pumped to see: Youngr and Raiden

Acts I’m most excited for: Major Lazer, Adventure Club, Grandtheft

Conflicts: Bro Safari (chose Grandtheft instead), Armin Van Buuren & Kshmr (Party Favor), Alesso (Feed Me), Zhu & Martin Garrix & Carl Cox & Jai Wolf (Adventure Club), Boombox Cartel (Major Lazer)

SATURDAY

ultra lineup saturdayUMF Sat lineupUltra sat lineup

Saturday is the first full day, and this is the day I’m looking to really dance into the night. Starting off, I’ll be going to hard hitting DJ from Japan, Ksuke. He made his debut on the stage of Ultra Korea in 2014, so I’m excited to hear and see his development to this point in time. I also want some hard hitting stuff right away to wake me up and set the vibe right off the bat.  Next, I’ll be going off to tried and true Ultra Recording artist and DJ veteran Tommie Sunshine. Then quickly hitting Scottish house producer, Chris Lake, before some more sultry tropical sounds from Sam Feldt.

Martin Solveig seems like a good next transition from Sam Feldt keeping that uplifting feel with a more house vibe. At this point, I should be in full party mode really ready to start dancing.

After witnessing Black Coffee on Boiler Room, I have to check out his set. I’ve seen the Russian electro-house trio, Swanky Tunes before at Ultra, and I’ve decided to be a return customer.

I’ll hang out for a bit then try to change the vibe up a bit and watch Cypress Hill‘s live performance. Hip-Hop was my first love, and after all of the electronic music I’ve been taking up to this point, rap sound like it will be a nice change of pace.

Then I’m getting back into it, catching the second half of Tiësto and then following up with the #1 DJ in the world according to DJ Mag for some trance in John Digweed. 

Laidback Luke will fulfill my uplifting house that I was so much enjoying at the beginning of the day before I go into the heavy dubstep for the remainder of the night.

Skrillex is one my favorite acts to date, so in his label, OWSLA, I trust. There has not been much dubstep up until this point, so I feel a Saturday night of dubstep would really do the trick.

Newer Acts I’m pumped to see: Ksuke and any OWSLA Newcomers

Acts I’m most excited for: Cypress Hill, Black Coffee, OWSLA

Conflicts: DJ Sliink & Kungs (Black Coffee), Steve Aoki (Swanky Tunes & Cypress Hill), Ice Cube (Tiësto & John Digweed), Cedric Gervais (John Digweed), Above & Beyond (Laidback Luke), Afrojack & Carl Cox (OWSLA), Axwell Λ Ingrosso (OWSLA), Nicky Romero (OWSLA)

Sunday

Ultra sunday lineup 2017sun lineup ultra

umf sun headliners

It’s Sunday, and I’ve finally made it to the third and final day of the festival. Today, I’m excited for these newer acts that I have yet to experience, but hear great things. I’m excited to start off with Madrid-based, DJ Nano, and resident Ultra DJ Mykris, with hard hitting electro-house to wake me up.

Lookas was named a “Top 10 Acts to Watch This Year” from Rolling Stones magazine, so I have to go check them out next. Then off to Showtek, who was responsible for one of my favorite songs last year and popular hit on rbeatzradio.com, Believer.

I saw Fedde le Grand for the first time at Ultra 2013, and I will be a returning customer. “So Much Love” was a staple in our 2013 playlist. Then off to see Galantis who I’ve seen before and loved. Miike Snow has been one of my favorite bands, and half of Galantis is part of Miike Snow…so this was an obvious choice for me.

I’ve heard Malaa is a bit on the experimental/dark side, but very cool. I’m assuming I’ll want a change of pace from the bright uplifting sounds. I’m also following up the darkness of Malaa with some heavy trap/dubstep hitters in NGHTMRE and Slushii.

David Guetta will bring me back to the more uplifting sound/side of things. Justice is an obvious choice – I simply MUST attend this one. I can’t stay away from the French electronic stylings of one of the industries greatest.

Newer Acts I’m pumped to see: Lookas, Malaa

Acts I’m most excited for: Fedde le Grand, NGHTMRE, Justice

Conflicts: Afrojack (Malaa), Hardwell (Malaa), Zedd (Slushii), Armin van Buuren & Getter & Ty Dolla $ign (David Guetta), Bassjackers & DJ Snake & GTA (Justice)

Another opinion from DJ Nick

I understand that not everyone will have the same music tastes as myself, so I asked my friend Nick, who DJs in NYC and LOVES old-school trance/techno/house to give me his list of performances he’d attend.

If you’re more into the trance scene, listen to Nick. His lineup is almost the polar opposite of the one I posted above, so if you hated what I laid out, try the Nick route 😉

His list is below…

FRIDAY

Saeed Younan/ Dosem, DJ Icey, DJ Anna,  Technasia, Maya Jane Coles, Marca Carola, Hot Since 82, Nic Fanciulli, Carl Cox, and Maceo Plex

Saturday

Eli & Fur, Hector, Reboot,  Martinez Bros, Kolsch, Matthias Tanzmann, Black Coffee, Matador, Tale of Us, Marcel Dettmann, Sasha and Digweed, Chris Liebing, Dubfire, Carl Cox, and Adam Beyer

Sunday

Waff b2b Nathan Barato, Patrick Topping, Barclay Crenshaw, Jackmaster, Stephan Bodzin, Eats Everything, Underworld, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones, and Justice

Throughout this entire list, we had 3 crossovers. This even included my conflicts! This just goes to show that there is a lot for people of various music tastes at the eclectic Ultra Music Festival.

What’s Next?

Over the next couple of weeks, rBeatz will be getting in depth with Ultra Artists, learning the demographics of artist genres and country of origin, while keeping you up to date with any news regarding the festival. Start getting excited…Ultra Music Festival is 2 weeks away.

An Ultra 2017 Music Playlist of almost all the artists I’ve mentioned above. I will be using this as my pregame playlist for the preparation festivities.

Chris Stack

Chris Stack is one of the founding members of rBeatz. After graduating from Kenyon College, Chris joined a branding and marketing startup, BrandYourself (as seen on SharkTank), in New York City. After leading the company to grow past profitability as a leading account manager, Chris set his sights on his passion: music. He currently runs his own LLC in New York City, helping musicians in the city with their online presence and marketability. A native of the Washington DC area, Chris Stack's passions and hobbies include music production (8 years on Ableton), marketing, baseball (Mets), football (Ravens), Netflix n chillin, and the experience economy.

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