Every year at Ultra Music Festival, it seems like it’s easier to figure out which artists didn’t make the trip to Miami, rather than the ones who did. That’s because essentially everyone important who has touched a turntable over the past year makes their way down to South Beach for some sort of event. It’s impossible to see them all. But there are some people that no matter what, no matter who else the schedule conflicts with, you shouldn’t miss, because we’re not sure when they’ll be around again. Think Kraftwerk last year. Here’s our definitive list of people you definitely SHOULD NOT MISS.
Some of you newer EDM fans may not recognize the name, but UK based electronic band Faithless have been releasing hit singles since 1996 – when many Ultra attendees were wearing pacifiers that didn’t glow in the dark. The music still holds up by the way – listen to ‘Insomnia’, and tell me you haven’t heard those synths dropped by countless DJs over the past few years. These guys are bringing their full live/PA show to Ultra after a brief hiatus from touring. You will not want to miss this legendary group.
2. Dog Blood
If Dog Blood isn’t a familiar name to you, the two producers who encompass it definitely are. Skrillex and Boys Noize, two of the biggest names in EDM, started creating new material together in 2012, releasing their debut single ‘Next Order/Middle Finger’. That’s about the extent of released material, so expect a slew of new stuff during their hour long set. Also – other than Coachella, this is probably your only chance to see these all stars share the booth.
3. DJ Fresh (Live)
Drum and bass has slowly been taking over America this year, but there still isn’t much representation at Ultra this year. Save for DJ Fresh, who’s coming straight from the UK to put on a show that is sure to blow minds on the Live Stage. Fresh is a member of drum and bass supergroup Bad Company, and the owner of next level drum and bass label Breakbeat with Adam F and Kaos, but you probably know him best from being remixed by the likes of Flux Pavilion and Doctor P, who turned his hit singles ‘Louder’ and ‘Gold Dust’ into anthems.
4. The ‘A State Of Trance Tent’
Alright, so this isn’t exactly fair, but the ‘A State Of Trance Tent’, curated by Armin Van Buuren, is always the highlight of any festival it appears at. Between Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz announcing a new collaboration, and Armin Van Buuren’s upcoming album, this is the place to be weekend two. Walk in curious… leave a diehard trance fan.
5. Swedish House Mafia (weekend 2)
What, you thought it was going to be anything different? Even though these three guys are everywhere, this is advertised as their last show ever as a trio. Their stage set up, already massive, will be even bigger on Ultra’s biggest stage, and they’ve announced some sort of iPhone app that will allow the fans to interact with the stage. While there will definitely be a bunch of overlapping acts, this one is definitely this years most anticipated.