Photo Gallery: A glimpse of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida

If you’ve never attended the Ultra Music Festival, you might be wondering: why all the fuss?

We’ll tell you: it’s flashing lights and booming bass. These are the best DJs in the world who play music that literally beats to the rhythm of your heart. These are cute costumes and handing out big colorful bracelets called kandi to new friends.

It’s also queuing for Porto Potty, trying not to get dehydrated, and sometimes making bad decisions.

But let’s be positive and celebrate PLUR (meaning peace, love, unity and respect for you), the hallmark of rave culture. This year’s Ultra runs March 25-27, and it’s back at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami after a logistically problematic run on Virginia Key in 2019. And even though residents of the swanky condos lining Biscayne Boulevard will complain, a lot of people will have fun – and spend money.

Here are a few things you’re likely to see if you brave downtown traffic (and if you don’t, here are a few other things you could do instead).

Girls on the shoulders

You should expect to see young women borrowing a strong pair of shoulders to sit on. Let’s face it, there are a lot of people here. This guest took a seat with a flag on the first day of the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park in 2018. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

cool look

Tiffany Kim, 32, of Los Angeles definitely had a look at the 2017 Ultra. MATIAS J.OCNER For the Miami Herald

Masks and kandi (not that kind)

Masks were all the rage when 18-year-old Saul Fernandez from Bolivia danced with friends on day three of Ultra in 2017. The chunky beaded bracelets he wears are called “kandi,” and they’re traded by ravers at EDM shows. MATIAS J. OCNER For the Miami Herald


Shannon Hill, 25, from Texas, wears a Pikachu costume at Ultra in 2017. MATIAS J. OCNER For the Miami Herald


EDM fans are covered in confetti during one of the Ultra Music Festival’s daytime performances. Miami Herald

Famous DJs

Armin Van Buuren, who is also playing a set this year, got the Ultra crowd pumping in 2016. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

Artists throwing money

Rapper G-Eazy throws money into the crowd after his performance on day two of Ultra in 2018. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

An impressive step

Less is more when it comes to what you wear to Ultra Music Fest. This EDM fan wore anything on Ultra’s last day of 2019 on Virginia Key. The festival returns to Bayfront Park this year. Alexia Fodere for the Miami Herald


Smoke was part of Afrojack’s set at Ultra in 2019. ALEXIA FODERE MIAMI HERALD

Fire-breathing spiders

This giant fire-breathing spider made an appearance at Ultra in 2018. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

Wild Light Shows

Flags waving amid the lights on the final night of the 2019 Ultra Music Festival in Virginia Key. Alexia Fodere for the Miami Herald

Seriously, those lights…

Afrojack’s set was a blaze of light on the final day of Ultra in 2019. Alexia Fodere for the Miami Herald

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