Electronic dance music has been a cultural force for decades, and the annual Ultra Music Festival in Miami has been at the forefront of the scene for over 20 years.
With its electrifying atmosphere, top-notch production, and stellar lineups, it has become one of the most highly anticipated music festivals in the world.
Every year, the festival’s Main Stage showcases some of the biggest and most talented names in the industry, cementing its reputation as a premier destination for fans of the genre.
But Ultra is more than just a music festival. It’s a cultural event that has played a key role in shaping the global electronic music scene. The festival has been a launchpad for countless artists, helping to elevate them to international stardom.
It’s also been a place where new sounds and styles are discovered, and where cutting-edge technology is utilized to create immersive and unforgettable experiences for fans.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most iconic and unforgettable performances from Ultra’s main stage, and explore the impact they had on electronic music culture.
1. Hardwell- 2022
A decade after delivering one of the most electrifying performances at one of the most influential electronic music events in history, dance music pioneer and former two-time world number-one DJ, Hardwell, made his highly anticipated return to the stage at Ultra Music Festival in 2022.
After announcing his sabbatical from touring in 2018 following years of headlining sets, Hardwell’s performance at the festival’s main stage marked his first official show since his concert with the Metropole Orkest Symphony in October 2018.
As the closing act of the festival, his return was a momentous occasion that drew in an excited crowd of 150,000, and his performance also shattered Ultra’s streaming records as fans from around the world eagerly tuned in to watch his first official live set in over three years.
2. deadmau5- 2019
In 2019, deadmau5 returned to the Ultra Music Festival stage after a several-year absence, delivering two unforgettable performances for his fans. On Friday night, he played a classic set featuring his biggest hits and a blend of progressive and electro house that got the crowd moving.
But it was his Saturday night “Cube v3” set that stole the show, showcasing Deadmau5’s innovative new live show that featured a massive cube-shaped LED structure displaying stunning visuals and animations throughout the performance.
The Cube v3 set included several new and unreleased tracks from his upcoming album “Here’s the Drop,” which features orchestral reworkings of some of his most popular songs.
The Cube v3 set also featured a surprise appearance by Canadian singer and frequent collaborator Lights, who performed vocals on several songs.
3. Swedish House Mafia-2018
Swedish House Mafia‘s 2018 Miami Ultra performance was highly anticipated, as it marked their official reunion after a five-year hiatus.
The trio had previously performed at Ultra in 2013 for what was supposed to be their final show, but their 2018 performance proved that they still had plenty of fire left in them.
The set began with a dramatic intro that featured a countdown and a sea of flashing lights, building up anticipation among the crowd. As soon as the trio stepped on stage, the energy level in the crowd skyrocketed. They opened their set with their classic hit “Miami 2 Ibiza,” which set the tone for the rest of the performance.
4. DJ Snake- 2017
DJ Snake’s set at Ultra Miami was widely regarded as one of the highlights of the festival that year. He played a high-energy set that mixed his own hits with popular tracks from other artists.
Some of the standout moments from his set included his performances of “Let Me Love You,” “Turn Down for What,” and “Propaganda.”
DJ Snake also brought out some surprise guests during his set, including the rapper Future and fellow DJ and producer Lil Jon. Future performed his hit song “Mask Off,” while Lil Jon joined DJ Snake on stage for a performance of their collaboration “Turn Down for What.”
Photos courtesy of Ultra Music Festival