2016 Ultra Music Festival Recap: Highlights From EDM’s Biggest Weekend

It’s a wrap and a slam dunk for the sold-out eighteenth edition of the Ultra Music Festival, which took over Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami once again. The World’s Premier Electronic Music Festival welcomed 165,000 dance fans to witness hundreds of acts perform across eight stages and installations – and that was after Crave and 7Up’s elite Music Lounge experience which brought all the superstars out to play.

The surprise focal point of the weekend was polarizing DJ/producer deadmau5, who performed three times across the weekend after a last minute cancellation from The Prodigy, who were scheduled to close the LIVE Stage on Saturday night. Performing for the second time on Sunday evening inside the Megastructure for Armin’s annual ‘A State Of Trance’, the Canadian then joined Pendulum as a special guest to close out the Ultra Main Stage on Sunday night, performing ‘Ghosts N Stuff’, reaping praise from fans, viewers and media from across the world.

Other special guests included Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who also joined Pendulum on stage for a mind-blowing rendition of ‘Tarantula’, as well as Craig David, who came out with Hardwell, and Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross & DJ Khaled who all accompanied Carnage on the Main Stage on Sunday.

For the millions of fans who couldn’t make it to the sold out event, Ultra Live was on hand again this year, transmitting live across the weekend from a custom-built studio in the heart of the event grounds. 

Designed by Ultra Music Festival’s Creative Director, Richard Milstein and featuring mapping design by V Squared Lab’s, Vello Virkhaus, the colossal Ultra Main Stage was once again hailed a resounding success, as its unprecedented array of mind-boggling LED, immaculate sound and pyrotechnics literally shook its crowds to the core with performances from the likes of Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Pendulum, Knife Party, DJ Snake, Avicii, Zedd, Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, David Guetta, Kaskade, Tiësto, Carnage, Kygo, Steve Angello, Galantis and many more.

Miike Snow, Chet Faker, Nero, Purity Ring, Rabbit In The Moon, Caribou, Crystal Castles, Bob Moses and Peaches were just a handful of world-beating acts to grace this year’s expertly curated LIVE Stage, with hordes of fans on hand to witness some of the most eclectic and creative music on show this year.

Never outdone, ULTRA favorite Carl Cox hosted his legendary Carl Cox and Friends Arena for an incredible 12th year inside the famed Megastructure. Joined by Marco Carola, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Joseph Capriati and Nicole Moudaber to name but a few, the Godfather of Dance put on a special show for the masses across Friday and Saturday before Armin van Buuren closed the house down with deadmau5, Eric Prydz, Markus Schulz, Aly & Fila and Andrew Rayel on his ‘A State of Trance’ Sunday.