Ahhh, my first Ultra experience. Let me just preface this by saying that I really only remember the first couple of hours of this festival and then, well, then the haze began. I had met Juan, my crazy Colombian boyfriend, the month before while I was visiting my friend in Orlando. He lived in Miami and had told me all about this festival. He kept begging me to come in for it, so finally I gave in and planned my trip. He was in charge of getting tickets for the festival and getting us a place to stay and I was in charge of getting to Miami. Well, it all worked out…sort of. Since I hadn’t known him for very long before making this wild decision to go to South Beach, it was a little awkward at first. But we pushed through and had a memorable weekend. The festival was on Saturday and I arrived on Friday. We laid low on Friday night so we’d be good to go for Saturday’s event. We got down to Bayfront Park sometime in the afternoon on Saturday. His friend dropped us off so we didn’t have to worry about driving later that night. That had to be the best decision we made all weekend. Once we got there, we started wandering around the tents. If you haven’t been to Ultra before, it’s basically an electronic music festival. It’s pretty much all DJ’s set up in various tents around the park. There is one stadium for major acts. The first tent we stopped into was Timo Maas.
I am in no way an expert on DJ’s, so I had no idea who he was. But Juan, my boyfriend, was an expert and he was very excited to hear this guy spin. We stayed there for the rest of his set. It was pretty good. We wandered around a little more. I saw Bad Boy Bill’s sign outside of a tent and had to go in since he was reppin’ Chi-town. That’s some old-school music. It was so great to hear it, if only for a minute. From the moment Juan & I arrived at the park we were on a mission to find some goodies. Without being specific, let’s just say, we wanted to heighten our Ultra experience. And heighten it we did. We finally found some treats and just as they were kicking in, I decided I had to go to the bathroom. Wow! I’m not sure I’ve ever been quite as paranoid as I was at that moment. I kept telling Juan, do NOT leave me. Stay right here while I go in the port-a-potty. I almost lost it. I half expected him to be gone when I came back out. Whoa!! That was scary. From that moment on, we were pretty much joined at the hip. Things got very wacky. We walked down to the main stadium to catch the end of Ferry Corsten. Oh man, that shit sounded incredible. The audience was going CRAZY!! That’s when I shot the picture of the beastly man and his beastly tattoo. It looked insane to me at the time.
After Ferry finished his set, I’m not sure we saw any more music. Actually I think we did see part of Armin Van Buuren’s set. He might’ve gone on before Ferry. Either way here’s a clip of Armin’s set:
At this point it became more a feat of keeping “shit” together because things got very weird and kept getting weirder. We wandered around & around. I think we got some food at one point. And then…I had to sit down. I didn’t really care that we were in the middle of a crowd of people. I just had to sit! So we sat. And we sat. And we sat. We sat until we finally got up to call Juan’s friend to pick us up. Hours must have passed and we didn’t even realize it. Time meant nothing during this ride. I remember finding it incredibly difficult to cross the street. All the lights & cars just overwhelmed me. Now this all may sound kind of scary, but I was actually having a pretty great time. lol Once Juan’s friend got there, he couldn’t stop laughing at our condition. He kept asking us what we were seeing & feeling. I tried explaining to him that it was like a movie playing in my head and every time I thought I was getting a handle on the story, “whizz, thwap, bang”, a new storyline would pop up. It sounded logical at the time. I made the mistake of calling my friend who was watching my cats in NYC while I was gone and he told me that somebody had left a TV outside of my apartment building. He asked me if I wanted it and I proceeded to ask him, “Where would I put it? Could I suspend it from the ceiling?” And then I started cracking up. I don’t think he even noticed how utterly ridiculous my response was. I filled him in when I got back from my trip. So my first Ultra may have been more substance than music, but it was still a GREAT time.