HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Fifteen years ago when electronic dance music (EDM) was a distant European fad blowing up across the ocean, Ultra Music Festival creators Russel Faibisch and Alex Omes were brainstorming ideas on how to cultivate a domestic EDM following. They decided to throw a one-day concert coinciding with the annual Winter Music Conference, a Miami EDM expo which invites industry insiders and rising DJs for a month of workshops, concerts and roundtables. The result was the first Ultra Music Festival - your average daytime rave taking place on the beautiful sands of South Beach.
After the huge successes of the 1999 and 2000 events, Faibisch and Ames moved the festival to Bayfront Park in downtown Miami to accommodate the expanding crowds. They partnered up with Winter Music Conference to make Ultra the conference’s anchor event - shoving the small but mighty festival into the limelight for all of the world to see and attend.
As the American EDM movement grew, so did Ultra Music Festival. The 2010 edition marked an exponential explosion for the scene when Ultra sold out, motivating Faisbisch and Ames to expand the festival to a three-day soiree.
In 2011, Ultra clashed with Winter Music Conference who decided to throw its own festival earlier in the month. But Ultra held strong to its end of March dates, and so did the DJs and after-party planners who followed the festival’s lead, asserting the festival’s dominance as Miami’s largest electronic music event.
Last year’s Ultra was the biggest and best yet, with more than 165,000 attendees from 75 countries pouring $79 million into South Florida’s economy. And with the edition of another weekend for the 2013 extravaganza, Ultra Music Festival will continue to assert its supremacy as the best EDM festival of the year.