Review: Ultra Music Festival 2017 Review and Photo Diary

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March always means two things: Miami and Ultra Music Festival, which has been an annual tradition for me since the beginning of time. This year, the 19th edition of Ultra Music Festival took place in downtown Miami from March 24-26 2017. Gathering from every corner of the globe, music lovers came together for an extravagant weekend filled with unreleased music, new production, and of course some of the greatest DJ’s in the world. With so much going on, it was nearly impossible to catch every single performance and surprise spread throughout Bayfront Park’s seven stages but here’s a recap of what went down.
Rabbit in the Moon ~ Live Stage
Rabbit in the Moon ~ Live Stage
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Over the course of the weekend we caught some unbelievable performance that definitely kept us on our feet. Friday kicked off with French producer Tchami, who took the stage for his sunset slot at 6:25 pm. Dressed in his usual priest attire, he delivered bass heavy tracks and deep house sounds along with state of the art visuals in the form of his signature church vibe. We rushed to the Arcadia Spider just in time to see Maya Jane Coles, and Hot Since 82 before catching a few minutes of Mad Decent All Stars at the UMF Radio Stage and ending the night at the Megastructure for Marco Carola and Carl Cox.
Boombox Cartel ~ Radio Stage
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The megastructure to Carl Cox is like the Main Stage to fireworks- they go hand in hand. Throughout the years, I have really appreciated Ultra’s way of taking notice of the emergence and growth in popularity of the underground scene. For years, Carl Cox and Friends has held down the techno side of the spectrum so it was no surprise that after introducing the Resistance brand two years ago that it would take full control of the Megastructure on Friday and Saturday. With the return of the Arcadia Spider, a two day slot was given to a man who long ago solidified his status as a legend.
Carl Cox ~ Megastructure
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Marco Carola ~ Megastructure
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As an optimist, I like to think of life as a glass half full, so a 30% chance of rain in the forecast on Saturday made me leave my poncho and all worries at home. In a way, I am appreciative of the downpour because yes, not only did I look like a wet dog for the majority of the day but it also forced me to toss my set schedule and see artists that I have never seen before like, Ice Cube. As myself and many others densely packed the pathway connecting the livestage to the UMF radio stage, we had no choice but to bounce up and down reciting every lyric from his songs. Earlier in the day, we caught the second half of the Martinez brothers, Black Coffee and Tale of Us at the Megastructure before making our way to the World Wide Stage for Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano and Cedric Gervais.
Ice Cube ~ Live Stage
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Ice Cube ~ Live Stage
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The final day of Ultra was packed with powerhouse performances by Galantis, Patrick Topping, Eats Everything, Jamie Jones B2B Seth Troxler, Rezz, and Malaa. Beyond the Main Stage, Claude Vonstroke made his first festival debut as Barclay Crenshaw playing tracks off his self titled inaugural album. Fusing electronic with 90’s hip-hop, festivalgoers were definitely intrigued by his new wave of sound.
Malaa ~ Worldwide Stage
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Barclay Crenshaw ~ Live Stage
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Each year the Sunday headliner has a surprise that will have all music outlets talking for days, the 2017 installment was no exception. For many years, DJ Snake has been known to bridge the gap between hip-hop and electronic dance music so without a question, his performance was one of the most highly anticipated sets of the night. While Drake never actually made an appearance, despite rumors, fans were still treated to artists just as lively. Midway through his set, Lil Jon and Future took the decks along with the Parisian producer for tracks like “Turn Down for What”, “Fuck Up Some Commas”, “Mask Off”, and “Jumpman”.
DJ Snake ~ Main Stage
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Future ~ Main Stage
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DJ Snake ~ Main Stage
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A bit of sadness came over as the last of the fireworks were fired off into the sky and I knew that another successful Ultra Music Festival was under my belt and my flight to New York was in a few hours. Expectations will be running high as 2018 marks the festival’s 20th anniversary. UMF has been announced to take place from March 23rd-25th. As always, it will be the festival season starting line. Will you be there?
Words by: Stacey Miranda
Photos by: Malak Kdiry 
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