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Ultra Music Festival 2023 Marked Celebratory 23rd Edition in Miami



Another groundbreaking year has gone down in the history books for Miami’s iconic Ultra Music Festival. The sold-out 2023 edition met and exceeded expectations with showcases from the world’s top talent as well as numerous very special guests and debut performances, all under the blissful Florida sun. 

Photo by Alive Coverage

Known for its high-caliber production and state-of-the-art displays, Ultra Miami continues to cement its mark in electronic music festival history as one of the world’s greatest of all time. Spanning three long days and showcasing a diverse variety of electronic genres across numerous stages set along Florida’s blue water and bright sun, the festival provides a unique guest experience that one can only find on the shores of Miami. Although Ultra is a standout worldwide brand and the festival hosts a number of other editions of the highly-renowned gathering, there will always be a special place in our hearts for the flagship southern Florida show. 

“After producing the festival over the past 24 years, I can confidently say this was the best all-around ULTRA to date. So many happy people from all walks of life came together to celebrate electronic music like never before in Miami.” – Russell Faibisch, Co-Founder, CEO & Executive Producer

From legendary back-to-backs including deadmau5 and Kaskade for Kx5 at the Live Stage to Jauz and SVDDEN DEATH’s jolting first performance together to the debut of the techno powerhouse duo that is HI-LO b2b Testpilot, there was no shortage of special synchronicities and influential beginnings. 

This year’s Live Stage featured exceptional performances and brought possibly the most engaging and entertaining sets of the whole weekend. REZZ absolutely shut the place down on Friday, Kayzo performed his first-ever UNLEASHED XL live show there on Saturday and Gigantic NGHTMRE rejuvenated our souls on Sunday. Kx5 reigned supreme as they conducted Sunday’s closing performance and filled the stadium seating to the brim. Other weekend highlights included William Black with surprise guest Audien, Black Tiger Sex Machine presents Portals, M.I.A., CloZee and Kasablanca live. Each act that came through the stage put their own unique spin on their sets and distinguished themselves using a variety of instruments, performers, stage designs and production. 

The gorgeous Ultra Worldwide Stage provides a unique viewing experience and immersive feel to everyone brought together underneath its signature curved panels and LED displays. Friday was the beloved A State of Trance (ASOT) (aka a trance-lovers paradise) that the trance fam all around the world looks forward to in Miami each year. 2023’s ASOT edition welcomed enchanting performances from Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten, Ilan Bluestone, Blastoyz and Ruben de Ronde as well as a special b2b set from Armin and Ferry. Saturday and Sunday held a much harder force down under the glowing arch with sets from GG Magree, Moore Kismet, Kill The Noise, Liquid Stranger, Malaa, Deathpact, Subtronics, Crankdat, Yookie, Ganja White Night, Jauz b2b SVDDEN DEATH and more bass-loving talents. 

Photo by Rudgrcom

Dance music legend Eric Prydz showcased his highly sought after HOLO performance at the RESISTANCE Megastructure for the first time. The very forward-thinking, mind-bending and highly technical, immersive show, made a lasting impression on the thousands that were in attendance on Friday night. Eric Prydz followed up the rare spectacle with a b2b alongside powerhouse Adam Beyer under his Cirez D moniker. The Megastructure weekend rolled on to feature Maceo Plex b2b Michael Bibi, Enrico Sangiuliano, Popof x Space 92 Present Turbulences, Anfisa Letyago, Camelphat, HI-LO b2b Testpilot, Tale of Us and of course, the iconic Carl Cox closing set. 

RESISTANCE’s The Cove Stage played home to three uniquely curated roundups this year. Friday saw Nicole Moudaber as she hosted her IN THE MOOD takeover and played a special closing b2b set with Chris Liebing. Saturday saw Joris Voorn host a Spectrum takeover with talents like Franky Wah, Mind Against, Fideles and Dubfire b2b Kölsch. Sunday’s conclusion featured the Claude VonStroke takeover and fan favorites like Walker & Royce, VNSSA, Shiba San and more.

Photo by Rudgrcom

The UMF Radio Stage takeovers stood strong all weekend with sounds delivered by Revealed on Friday, JACKED on Saturday and Dirty Workz on Sunday. Label bosses Hardwell and Afrojack made special appearances as well as Dada Life, Joel Corry, Jeffery Sutorius, DubVision, Mike Williams, Lucas & Steve, Darren Styles, Sub Zero Project and more. 

Techno maven Charlotte de Witte took the masses into a dark spiral as she celebrated the first techno performance on the Ultra Miami Main Stage – a historic moment for the brand. Joining Charlotte on the Main Stage for opening day was Afrojack who delivered a hard-hitting energetic set, Gryffin who undoubtedly brought the love and feel-good vibes, Zedd who welcomed popular up-and-coming rapper Ice Spice to perform her song “No Clarity” (featuring a sample from his master hit “Clarity”) and Martin Garrix who closed out the night with a colorful boom in true Main Stage fashion.

Photo by Alive Coverage

The weekend continued on over at the Main Stage with sets from all walks of dance. From the beloved sounds of Fedde le Grand and Nicky Romero to a back-to-back house party with Dom Dolla and Vintage Culture to glorious sundown sets by heavyweights Armin van Buuren and Tiësto, Saturday’s vibes hit the crowd hard. Hardwell and Alesso also joined in the fun, delivering just what fans were looking for and serving as a nostalgic reminder of why we all got into this space in the first place. Marshmello brought the night to a close with a bouncy, dynamic set and surprise guests including Farruko, Roddy Rich and GloRilla. 

Of course Sunday was a day that thousands looked forward to as the month of March approached, knowing full well that Swedish House Mafia was marking their return to Bayfront Park following their surprise 2018 reunion. Sharing a beautiful mix of old and new, everyone’s favorite Swedes serenaded the festival out to a close just as we imagined, complete with a captivating drone show high in the sky. In anticipation of their beautiful closing set, the Sunday Main Stage crowd enjoyed the spiritual sounds of Vini Vici, the trumpeting madness of Timmy Trumpet, the future house collective of Oliver Heldens b2b Tchami, the future rave specialties of David Guetta and more. 

Photo by Alive Coverage

Ultra Music Festival’s Mission:Home sustainability program also served up a ton of highlights and was named the “most extensive sustainability program across leading U.S. electronic music festivals” by Miami-based non-profit Debris Free Oceans. Ultra is proud to become the first festival of its scale in the U.S. to be verified by international NGO Oceanic Global’s Blue Standard program. This is the 3rd year in a row Ultra achieved 100% recycling acceptance. The festival continued to keep food service wares plastic free and continued to grow food and material rescue initiatives to donate more resources back to the community.

And to spare everyone from sadness that Ultra 2023 has come to a close, an immediate announcement was made sharing the dates of 2024’s installation. Mark your calendars for March 22-24, 2024 because Ultra is making its almighty return. Tickets are on sale now right HERE. We can’t wait to see you there!

Photo by Alive Coverage

Caroline is an avid electronic music enthusiast. Born and raised in the Boston area, Caroline relocated Florida to complete her Bachelors Degree in Social Entrepreneurship & Business from Rollins College in Orlando. Her passion for EDM, music festivals and music in general has taken her up and down the East coast (she now resides in New York City) and inspired her to pursue her dreams within the industry. Electronic music truly has been a blessing in her life and brought a lifetime's worth of lasting memories.