Ultra. It’s been a mere 15 days since that mindblowingly amazing weekend and I still miss it. It was a three day whirlwind and I’m still trying to screw my head back on straight. Miami in itself is an exquisite city. Its true beauty however lies in the fact that it is unapologetically brash and vain. Masses of bronze unblemished skin, designer shades and debauchery somehow add to its enigma. The ocean is bluer, the cocktails are yummier and the people are hotter. All superlatives, and rightfully so. As for Ultra itself, well as much as I’d like to go into details of artists, stages and the sets – its all a blur of flashing lights, blaring bass and unbridled euphoria. No place for reminiscing here. I’d suggest Youtube videos for a suitable recap instead.
But what I will do instead is share some nuggets of wisdom I learned in my almost 5 days in the States (relevant to Miami, Ultra and life in general)
- Ditch the clothing. Its March, its sunny and its Miami. Let it all hang free and soak in the sun. Even if you’re a 100 pound waif or a beached whale, no one cares.
- Stay as close to the venue as possible. People will tell you to stay at South Beach because that’s where it all goes down. Don’t do it. Oh hell, the idea of partying all night on the beach every night after Ultra sounds tempting. But after 8 hours of raging when all you want to do is take a long shower and start feeling human again, distance matters. No more than a mile away from Bayfront Park.
- Book those after parties sparingly. You might think you’ll have all the energy in the world, but you won’t. You’ll have to drag yourself like a drowning animal all the way to the shore, erm party. Not fun at all.
- Be open minded. Don’t be the douche who rains all over everyone’s parade. Everyone is at Ultra to have fun, responsibly of course (we’re all adults here). Figure out your scene and what you’re comfortable with, whether its sticking to your friends and a glass of beer, or downing jägerbombs with random bros. We’re only young once, go figure.
- Meet new people. Talk to them. Its a music festival, there’s like minded people everywhere. I’ve had scintillating conversations in a bar, in the elevator and in a taxi! Regardless of age, gender or race, we all have something in common. And that’s half the beauty of travelling anyway.
- Plans don’t work the way they are supposed to. You can’t see all the acts at Ultra, you can’t see all the sights, you can’t get a tattoo and you might lose your passport. It happens. Silver linings, don’t forget.
- You will be broke. No matter how wisely you spend, the money gets sucked into a blackhole somewhere. No amount of math can tell you where it went. Mysteries of the universe.
- Go with an awesome bunch of people. There are only so many strangers you can chill with. Plus its nice to know someone’s got your back.
- You are fucking lucky. Keep the memories and never forget that feeling of being alive and being able to experience something you only thought you could dream about every time you watched the Ultra 2012 after movie. Every time someone asks me, “How was Ultra?” all I can come up with is “It was awesome”. Honestly though, how do you sum up a million moments and intangible feelings into a few sentences? You just had to be there. Until then…