Guide To Ultra Music Festival

iPhone App


Using your cellphone

The bad news: Last year the festival was at Bicentennial Park, a significantly smaller venue than this year’s Bayfront Park. There was little to no cellphone connection available, probably because I was sandwiched in a mass of 100,000+ people.  I can’t speak for the new venue’s cellphone abilities, but with an additional 50,000 people, I’m assuming the same problem will present itself.  Your best bet is to set up sporadic meeting spots amongst your friends throughout the day, in case someone in your group gets separated.  

The good news: If you have a smartphone, you’re in luck.  Ultra doesn’t allow any recording devices (cameras, videocameras, flipcams etc) into the park, but you can most certainly take pictures and videos on your phone.  I saw many cameras confiscated by security last year, so do yourselves a favor by skipping the part where you try to sneak your point-and-shoot in and just leave it at home.  

The best news: iPhone owners will love this one - the Ultra Music Festival App!  The free app helps you form a schedule of who you want to see when.  With multiple sets happening simultaneously, it’s easy to lose track of time and miss your favorite DJ.  But the app provides maps with lineups organized by time and stage.  This is a must-download before entering the park.

water bottle

Trade out your plastic for paper

Leave your credit cards at home and fill your pockets with cash.

Water bottles will be your sustenance during the long and sweaty days, but these babies cost $5 a pop. It’s a ridiculously expensive item, but trust me when I say this will be your lifeblood for the weekend.  You should also factor food and other drinks into your budget, since Ultra prohibits attendees from bringing in either of the items. 

Transportation is another cost to consider. Whether you travel by MetroRail or taxi, make sure you have enough money to get you home safely.  

The Essentials

There are a few items which every Ultra attendee should have in their ammunition.   

As a germaphobe, my personal favorite is hand-sanitizer.  As I mentioned early, music festivals are a dirty dirty place, and when you factor in porta-potties as your only cleansing solace, things can get pretty hairy.  Travel-sized hand-sanitizers are usually about $2 each at your local convenience store.


A small towel can also come in handy when you’re amidst a crowd of sweaty people and you just cant pull yourself away from the music for a bathroom break. 

This one may go without saying, but bring sunscreen.  Keep applying throughout the day if you don’t want to leave the venue with an embarrassing sunglasses tan like I did last year.

And last but certainly not least is your neon.  From glowsticks to headbands, being decked out in neon is the only way to experience electronic music.  Stop by your local dollar store for crazy (and cheap) glowstick bracelets and necklaces.  Lollipops are also synonymous with the EDM scene, so stock up on blow pops and get ready for a wild ride.