Florida - Ultra Music Festival 2017: A GRAMMY U Student Perspective
By: Janette Becerra / GRAMMY U Florida Student Representative
Sunday, March 26th, was the last day of Ultra weekend and the grand finale of Miami Music Week 2017. On that day, I got to see what all the hype was about.
With a crowd of over 70,000 people, it was truly a sight to see. People from around the globe gathered to be a part of the "festival" atmosphere and listen to the best DJs in the world. I had never been to Ultra before. I had friends that went every year and could not stop talking about it. I even added it to my bucket list back in high school. Now, 5 years after high school, I can gladly put a check mark next to it.
Joining me on this adventure was The Recording Academy, Florida Chapter Intern, Kathleen Dostaler. We came into Ultra from the production entrance and started our day on press yacht, where we saw interviews being conducted and the excitement from behind the scenes. Afterward, we headed to the Main stage, passing by all of the production tents and trailers where Ultra Staff were working around the clock, and Hardwell who was preparing to go on stage.
With the crowd cheering and the sun still blazing at 6:45PM, Hardwell played his explosive set which was enhanced by lights, streamers, and even fire. The Dutch DJ has been performing in the EDM world for over 10 years and headlining Ultra since 2012. Next to hit the main stage was GRAMMY-winning artist, Zedd. The young German producer has been hitting the charts since 2012, with songs like “Clarity” feat. Foxes, “Stay The Night” feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore, “Beautiful Now” feat. Jon Bellion, and currently number 17 on Billboard’s The Hot 100, “Stay” feat. Alessia Cara. During his set, Zedd brought Alessia out to perform this song which had the crowd going wild. Hearing this song live at Ultra is definitely a completely different experience from just hearing it on the radio.
Next on the lineup was two-time GRAMMY winner, David Guetta. The French DJ is one of few who started the EDM movement. Guetta performed at the very first Ultra in 1999 and has been back on the stage every year since. During his set, he yelled to the crowd that back then, “the Ultra scene was way way smaller, and look at us nowwww. We’re shining everywhere in the world Ultra. Thanks to all of you.” David Guetta was one of the main reasons I added Ultra to my bucket list in the first place. “Love is gone” was one of my favorite songs in 2007. Over the years, David Guetta has become more and more successful by producing top hits and feeding off of the crowd’s energy every time he performs.
Overall, Ultra blew me away and definitely gave me an experience I’ll never forget. Who knows, maybe I’ll go back next year.