|We stayed at the Intercontinental, which was at the base of UMF. You can see the Main Stage from our window, while they projected images off the side of our hotel. The bass would wake us up at 11am every day as we were still asleep.|
It was my first time and it was easily one of the best experiences of my life. What's funny is that this time last year, I could not be caught dead listening to EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Somehow it just creeps up on you. I had some friends who were listening to it then and they were so entranced in it, which freaked me out. Their passion for it was cult-like, and they would travel across the country to attend these EDM festivals in large groups. It did seem like a good bonding experience, but most cults are.
|During Afrojack's set|
|Me on right in my neon duds.|
And then it happened. First with Guetta. I think the credit for everyone's first dabble into EDM has to be given to Guetta, even though true EDM freaks absolutely hate him (snobs). His music has a broad appeal, which makes it very accessible. You probably heard him first on the radio. From there, you get deeper in the rabbit hole and start listening to ATB (rediscovering his old songs), Dash Berlin, Avicii, and if you are brave, dubstep. I love dubstep and I owe Skrillex's set at UMF for that.
|Madonna did show up.|
So Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is a three day event in Miami, Florida that caps off the Winter Music Conference (WMC) which has been around for over a decade or two (something like that). The top DJ's from around the world play here from 11am to midnight each day with multiple stages throughout the festival, accompanied by mind blowing light productions.
What I now understand about EDM is that it is an experience akin to religious faith; it is very personal. You can't explain it to others, you have to experience it for yourself, and when you do it changes your life. You listen to music differently, you almost see the world differently. And once you've been enlightened by a certain truth that only so few are privilege to, you feel the isolation. You feel the urge to share, so you blast your music, scaring your friends away. They just don't get it. And it's such a shame.
|A very dedicated festival goer.|
That's why you travel across the country to attend these massive festival gatherings with those who 'get it.' You are alive for the remainder of the festival, among those who share the same passion as you, music and life flowing through your veins, held up by lasers and the bass. The DJ is your priest and he delivers a sermon that never fails to inspire. Life is good.
|That's Paul Van Dyk in the back, keeping the party going till 6am.|
|On the last day of UMF in front of the A State of Trance tent. The best tent at UMF.|
|The Ultra logo.|
|Paul Oakenfold at the H50 rooftop pool party.|
|Pictures will never do it justice.|
When the festival ends, you return back to normal life, back into darkness. Until the next massive.
See you kids at Electric Daisy Carnival in New York!