Festival Review: Ultra Music Festival 2009
Ultra Music Festival, the music festival that serves as the culmination of the week long Winter Music Conference, has been going strong for 11 years. They’ve come a long way since their parties on the beach. Last year, the festival expanded to a 2-day festival in Bicentennial Park, Miami, and few thought this year would be able to top the 10-year anniversary lineup. UMF’s 2009 lineup comes damn close.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, you know that Prodigy is putting out a new album in March and is touring the states. What do you do if you’re one of the big names in the dance music world and you’re touring the states? Play Ultra of course! Prodigy played Ultra in 2006, and combining his old hits and his new material will surely impress. Add to that lights, lasers, and pyrotechnics and I’m betting this will end up being the show of the weekend.
Also on the lineup are dance heavy-hitters like Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk…they’ve played UMF so many times I’m beginning to wonder if they live there. Not that I’m complaining, PvD certainly knows how to close out the festival. His set will bring out many guest artists (my personal favorite was Jessica Sutta guesting to sing “White Lies”), and of course big hits like “Time Of Our Lives”.
I’m also very excited that UMF has finally taken notice of the indie dance/dance rock scene. Bloc Party is huge right now, and will have the ‘headlining’ spot on Friday night. Also notable are Santogold, The Ting Tings, Simian Mobile Disco, Late of the Pier and Crystal Castles. The indie dance scene is gaining lots of momentum and it’s nice to see it, it will be a nice break from all the trance/house/drum and bass etc etc.
UMF has always booked the legends of the dance world to put on legendary shows. If you’re a DJ on the djmag top 100 list, playing Ultra isn’t an option, it’s almost a requirement. Carl Cox naturally has his own tent again this year, and gracing his friends list are Moby, Eric Morillo, Pete Tong, and Elio Riso. That’s certainly quite a list of friends! For all you unfamiliar with dance music, Moby does some serious dance, not just the “Southside” you think of every time you hear Moby. Rocking out on the main stage are David Guetta, Deadmau5, Perry Ferrell, The Whip, Armin Van Buuren (the current #1 dj in the world), Above and Beyond, Fedde Le Grand, Infected Mushroom (finally where they deserve to be in the djmag top 10), ATB, Kaskade, Markus Schulz, and Francsco Rossi. Are there any dance fans out there whose jaw hasn’t hit the floor yet? This is quite a lineup, but the acts on the other stages (Pendulum, Roni Size Reprazent, Swedish House Mafia, Benny Benassi, Dirty South, Busy P and others) will have festivalgoers running from stage to stage in a hazy rush.
The 2009 Ultra Music Festival will be sure not to disappoint. The premier US dance festival promises legendary performances, beautiful scenery, and of course, thousands of your closest friends having the time of their lives.
Plus, with moments like these, who wouldn’t want to go?
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