Festival Report Card: Ultra Miami Music Festival 2024

Ultra Miami Music Festival 2024 was anything but forgettable.

Containing a storm so bad that all sets after 9PM on Friday had to be canceled, a historic extension of the festival hours on day two, and performances only dreams are made of, Ultra Miami was truly a feat of passion, grit, and dedication to the music.

Going into this year’s rendition of Ultra, we had high expectations due to the iconic livestream sets that have come out of the festival year after year. Artists bring their A-game, fans bring their top-tier outfits, and everyone is excited to start festival season with a bang.

Starting with a bang is an understatement, as we witnessed an unprecedented Ultra take place in real-time, full of surprises and last-minute changes.

Continue reading below to read our full review of the festival and how going with the flow can make the most memorable experiences.

Vibes: B-

Fans made the most of the unprecedented weather, as an almost hurricane (or tornado as the warning was listed on most weather apps) swept through Miami for day one of the festival, and halfway through day two.

We saw many people making the most of the rain, dancing around in puddles, and braving it out to see their favorite artists. Even with the festival’s cancellation around 9PM on day one, fans lined the streets and walked through the rain with high spirits.

We believe that the storm, while unfortunate, brought out the ultimate fans this weekend (ones who will brave a storm in order to keep their festival experience going). 

The vibes were the absolute highest on day two when the doors finally opened at 4PM. The sun peeped out around 5PM and cheers could be heard across the festival. Staff, fans, and artists were all so excited to even be there and didn’t mind the muddy grounds.

But we did hear about many phones being stolen, which dampened the vibe for many people. While this has been an issue at many festivals, it is never a positive thing, and it is important to include that it seemed more apparent here than at other Florida festivals.

We appreciate the staff, security, and Ultra crew for staying positive through all of the challenges they had to face during the weather and we believe the show wouldn’t have been able to go on without them.

Production: B

The production at Ultra Miami was incredible.

With seven total stages at Bayfront Park, we were impressed with the stage designs. Main stage had a new design with triangular LED screens and was full of CO2, pyro, and fireworks every night.

The World Wide stage has a 360-degree design, serving as an arch over the crowd with a UFO-looking structure in the middle.

We also appreciated the intimacy of the smaller stages, like the Oasis which had a covering over the top. The Live Stage was our favorite, as it held many extremely talented live acts and allowed for artists to bring their own production to the already massive Ultra Music Festival.

We also noticed improvements in sound throughout the festival. While there was some sound bleed between stages (mainly World Wide and the Live stage), the volume seemed to turn up much louder than in previous years, which we appreciated. We did, however, feel like there could’ve been a more elaborate main stage design.

We did notice a few production errors, mainly Tiesto’s DJ controller breaking in the rain, but do not blame the festival as the weather was uncontrollable that first day and caused many issues. We do think staff pivoted extremely well and was able to save the festival.

Alive Coverage

Music: A- 

This star-studded lineup leaves every festival-goer in awe year after year.

The 2024 lineup was no exception, with The Live Stage hosting many impressive live acts such as Apashe with his brass orchestra. With the rainstorm looming in on day one, seeing Apashe’s brass instruments and production was a sight to only be seen in movies.

SLANDER and Tiesto both had epic performances in the rain. SLANDER’s debut on the main stage was the final set of day one before the rest of the night was canceled. Luckily, they finished their whole set, and it was an epic sight. 

While the closure of day one was inevitable due to lightning and heavy rainfall, we were still disappointed that the headlining acts on Friday had to be canceled and could not be rescheduled (due to conflicting schedules at other festivals).

We were excited to see Fisher and Chris Lake’s Under Construction debut on the main stage and Zeds Dead on the Live stage and were disappointed that no solution was found for them.

Ultra Miami did, however, make an unprecedented move and extend the festival hours of day two until 1 AM. They did this to accommodate Hardwell and some other acts that had their sets canceled Friday, and fans rejoiced at his beautiful and nostalgic set on Saturday before Excision.

Excision’s main stage debut was legendary, as the main stage at Ultra has never held a bass act like him before. His set played to the classics but also threw in some heavy dubstep, a perfect blend for a wild set to witness in real life.

The possible set of the weekend had to be RL Grime b2b Knock2 at the Worldwide stage, who proved Trap has a seat at the table in 2024 and is here to stay.

Day three was the only full day of Ultra, but it had no shortage of amazing acts to see. BTSM performed their special animé show, Space Laces brought the bass energy, and Calvin Harris closed out the weekend with nostalgic bangers, performing at Ultra for the first time since 2013.

Venue: B+

It was held in Miami’s absolutely beautiful Bayfront Park, and it was inspiring to see how the park was transformed into a multi-stage international music festival for three glorious days.

Overlooking the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay, we could not get over the sightseeing this weekend. The park held seven total stages, placed strategically around the park to allow for movement between stages and minimal sound bleed.

A plethora of bars and food stands were also placed around the festival. We think the placement of the majority of food and vendors on Biscayne Bay caused some back-up and congestion during peak festival hours, and we felt these could have been spread out more to help with crowd flow and line control.

We enjoyed the bathroom options at Ultra, as the bathrooms were not porta potties but trailers and even buildings. It was nice to have flushable toilets, and we even found a building to the back right of the main stage that had bathroom attendants for the entire duration of the festival.

But we wish we saw more water stations as they were difficult to locate and had no signage.

The venue, Bayfront Park, is not large and some of the stages felt overcrowded, especially the main stage during peak set times. We believe this could have been mitigated and possibly happened because of some of the rainfall at the main stage (people were standing to avoid the puddles and caused some more crowding in dry areas).

The venue itself did get extremely flooded on the first day of the festival, which caused some more crowd flow issues and mud to spread across the venue. While this is no fault of the festival, we did notice an excess of dirt and mud throughout the weekend.

We were highly impressed with the Ultra staff and production crew, for cleaning the grounds, draining the water out of the main stage, and preparing the festival for the rest of the weekend.

Ultra Music Festival

Overall: B+

Ultra Miami 2024 was the start of an epic festival season. Serving as a cultural highlight for electronic music lovers everywhere, it was amazing to see fans come together this weekend despite the adversity the weather can sometimes bring.

We have never seen a festival pivot so well from what could seem like a disaster and deliver two and a half beautiful days of a festival. The Ultra production teams and staff deserve extra praise, as they could clear what seemed to be an entire lake on the main stage in less than a full day.

We do feel for some of the acts who couldn’t play at Ultra and hope we can continue to see them thrive in the future.

Overall, Ultra Miami was one for the history books, and we cannot wait to see what’s next for Ultra.




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