Ultra Music Festival 2018 Exceeds Expectations

Ultra Music Festival 2018

By and large, the 20th anniversary of Ultra Music Festival was a huge success. Not only was the sold-out event unforgettable, but the festival also hosted 165,000 attendees. Fans from over 60 different countries around the world were represented at the festival.

Furthermore, to keep the momentum alive, there were surprise sets from artists including Swedish House Mafia, Will Smith, Above & Beyond, Halsey, Desiigner, and Yo Gotti.

Ultra Performances

Saturday night had a slew of mind-blowing and unexpected performances. Marshmello brought out special guests Slushii, Yo Gotti, G-Eazy, and Lil Uzi Vert who all performed to a packed crowd. They were also followed by the one and only Will Smith who played his worldwide hit “Miami.”

Ultra-originals Rabbit In The Moon and Josh Wink also took the stage by storm. The two DJs appeared at the first-ever Ultra Music Festival back in 1998. The Chainsmokers, Tiësto, David Guetta, Carl Cox, and Steve Aoki are just a few of the extraordinary artists to hit the iconic stages at Bayfront Park. To further enhance the experience, the gigantic Ultra Main Stage showcased powerful pyrotechnics, sound system, and a lighting rig. It could only be described as “out-of-this-world.”


The Resistance Carl Cox Megastructure received several upgrades to its already mind-blowing production this year. As a result, the stage became one of the most outstanding lighting structures of festival history. To emphasize, it created a wormhole effect that stunned attendees as well as live streamers at home.

Carl Cox also closed both Friday and Saturday night with trademark fashion. He hosted several back-to-back sets from Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber, and Paco Osuna. The Megastructure lineup saw even more DJ’s, including Adam Beyer, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Maceo Plex, Pan-Pot, and more.

Resistance, the second stage at Ultra Music Festival, also featured the Arcadia Spider. Pyrotechnics, moving limbs, fire, dry ice, and lasers that projected across the Bayfront Park. The stage drew back-to-back performances from techno royalty like Technasia b2b Hector, Patrick Topping b2b Nathan Barato, and Guti (Live) b2b wAFF.

Closing out the stage on Sunday after performances from house and techno’s elite guard was the supergroup J.E.S.u.S, the b2b2b project from Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler.

The Megastructure was taken over by Armin van Buuren for a historic 850th ‘A State Of Trance’ on Sunday. The surprise headliner Above & Beyond closed out the festival with one of the most captivating and euphoric sets of the weekend.

Surprise Finale

For the final act of the festival, Swedish House Mafia reunited for a surprise performance on the main stage. The reunion came almost five years to the day after their farewell performance at Ultra Music Festival 2013. Axwell, Ingrosso, and Angello opened their set with “Miami 2 Ibiza”.

After playing many songs, the trio closed the night with an encore of their globally recognized track “One.” This was to the delight of the festival goers and the millions watching the live stream of Ultra at home.

Public Safety

This year, there was a significant focus on public safety and precautions. As a result of coordinating with various local and federal law enforcement, arrests dropped to an all-time low.

Encompassing the entire weekend, EDMTunes reported the following statement:

This year’s Ultra Music Festival was labeled the safest Ultra ever, with both arrests and medical transports significantly reduced.

Ultra Highlights

For the fifth year in a row, Ultra Music Festival was the #1 trending topic on social platforms worldwide over the weekend. To clarify, there were millions of mentions across all platforms. In fact, the festival is officially recognized as the most tweeted-about electronic music event in history.

Ultra Live’s record-breaking live stream presented by UMF TV attracted over 30 million viewers from around the world. In particular, many of these viewers tuned in for Swedish House Mafia’s Sunday night headlining set.

By all means, Ultra Music Festival exceeded expectations. In addition to the reunion of one of the most beloved electronic acts the world over, the festival also had many surprise performances from legendary artists. Furthermore, the event had an unparalleled level of production and lighting.

Looking forward, Ultra has its sights firmly set on next year. Ultra Music Festival 2019 takes place on March 29-31 and will be an 18 + event. Check out official photos of the event here!

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