This guide contains a variety of general information about Ultra Music Festival® in Miami and was compiled by the organizers of the event in an effort to, among other things, give you, our attendees, a potential roadmap for your experience at the event and make this experience as positive and safe as possible.
Over the years, many people have attended the event and have formed opinions about their experiences. It is important to keep in mind that in the 20 years of the festival’s existence, MANY things have changed. From one year to the next, improvements, additions, and changes are made to aspects of the event that can alter an attendee’s experience.
2019 in particular will see Ultra Music Festival in Miami undergo one of its most prominent changes in recent years, as it will now be produced in a new location in the City of Miami to Historic Virginia Key Beach Park & Miami Marine Stadium. Unlike previous years, this coming Ultra Music Festival will be unique in that all attendees will be experiencing it for the first time. This means that everyone, even the most well-traveled Ultra veteran, will have a lot to learn about the brand new aspects of the festival.
Please take the time to read through this guide carefully to ensure that you get the most out of your time at Ultra Music Festival.
There are two basic types of tickets— GA (General Admission) and VIP tickets. All tickets are for all 3 days of Ultra Music Festival. Single-day event tickets are NOT sold. GA tickets are what the vast majority of attendees purchase. Every ticket allows access to every single stage and area of the event other than a few select areas for VIP ticket-holders only. VIP tickets are a luxury option with enhanced amenities, such as separate viewing platforms.
Before the Purchase
Ticket sales begin far in advance of the event. Usually, there will be a limited sale of tickets early in the summer followed by a larger offering in the fall. Generally, the longer you wait to buy tickets, the more expensive they will be. Those who purchase tickets early sometimes pay as little as 50% as much as those who attempt to purchase at the last minute.
In order to have the option to purchase the lowest-cost tickets available, you must first sign up for Ultra Worldwide’s customer loyalty program, Ultra Passport. (Click Create My Account in the top right corner or download the official Ultra Worldwide app here to get started). The program rewards our most dedicated attendees for their attendance at Ultra Worldwide events, and provides them an opportunity to explore our many destinations. Once you create (and verify) your Ultra Passport account, you will be able to register for the lowest-cost tickets available for Ultra Music Festival with one easy click. Approximately 1-2 days before these tickets go on sale, you will receive an email with purchase instructions. Be sure to follow the instructions in the email carefully to avoid unnecessary delays when purchasing your ticket(s).
Ultra Passport holders with Platinum status will have exclusive, priority access to purchase tickets before anyone else. Following the Platinum sale, Ultra Passport holders with Gold status will have access to purchase tickets before Silver level buyers and the general public. Following the Gold sale, Ultra Passport holders with Silver status will have access to purchase tickets before the general public.
Buying Your Tickets
DO NOT BUY TICKETS FROM ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE: UltraMusicFestival.com. Any time you purchase tickets from a third party (like a friend, a ticket-reselling website, ticket broker, etc.), you risk getting scammed. We do not describe the specific methods scammers use because we do not want to give anyone ideas, but each year we deal with some disappointed fans who did not listen to this warning and are stuck outside the event gates with fake or invalid tickets. Please do not be one of them.
When you click the link to buy tickets from the official website you will be taken to the event’s official ticket retailer — Showclix. From there, it is a simple process to purchase your tickets, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Tickets are not allowed to be shipped to any location other than the billing address of the card used to purchase the tickets, and you will NOT be able to change the shipping address after you make your purchase(s). This measure is for security purposes. Please make sure your billing address is set to the location where you want your tickets shipped BEFORE you attempt to purchase tickets. Usually this can be done online or by phone with your card provider.
- At checkout there will be additional charges for taxes, service fees and shipping depending on your location. These charges will be clearly indicated before you confirm your order total.
After the Purchase
Beginning this year, tickets will be loaded onto special non-removable, non-transferable wristbands for your convenience and security. Wristbands will be received in early March, as normal.
IMPORTANT: If a ticket package containing gifts is included with your purchase, there will be one package PER ORDER. If you order 2 tickets at once, you will receive only one package and one set of gifts. For most people this is not a big deal, but if you care about getting a set of gifts for every ticket, you must order each ticket separately and pay a shipping charge on each ticket. There is a limit on how many tickets can be purchased with a single credit card. Contact our Ticketing Department if you have any questions about this.
Booking your accommodation can seem like a daunting task when looking at the overwhelming amount of hotels and neighborhoods to choose from in the Greater Miami area. Each hotel and neighborhood has its own advantages, whether it be its price point, location or amenities offered. We’ve broken down the various options below so you could pick a hotel best suited for your experience.
Downtown and Midtown Miami
Located in the heart of the city, Downtown and Midtown Miami are other great accommodation locations, with many hotels at a variety of price points providing a huge assortment of potential experiences. With the close proximity to the Wynwood Arts District and Miami Beach, these locations are also ideal for those who are planning to attend any Miami Music Week parties leading up to the festival. In addition, Downtown Miami will be in close proximity to two shuttle hubs providing efficient and free transit to the festival; one from the Arts & Entertainment District as well as another from the AmericanAirlines Arena in Downtown Miami.
Situated just south of Downtown Miami, Brickell is Miami’s emerging urban neighborhood. With a collection of newly constructed and renovated properties, there are a variety of unique hotels to choose from. Brickell is also nearby the Vizcaya shuttle hub, the transit hub closest to the festival venue.
South Miami or Airport
Another highly practical option is to stay in a hotel near South Miami or near Miami International Airport. These hotels are likely the most affordable, and with Miami-Dade Transit’s convenient travel options, you can travel to and/or from our transit hubs while completely bypassing Miami traffic.
Renown for its sandy white beaches and buzzing nightlife, Miami Beach is one of the most iconic areas of South Florida. With a variety of luxury hotels to choose from, Miami Beach is ideal for those who are planning to attend the many Miami Music Week parties held in the days prior to the festival.
Village of Key Biscayne
For those who are planning to come for just the weekend of the festival, staying in the Village of Key Biscayne is one of the best options for its close proximity to the venue. Located 10 minutes away, the Village of Key Biscayne has a number of hotels and resorts available for those looking for a quieter, more restful use of their non-festival hours.
While we have learned that some attendees elect to use room-sharing services, we do not recommend this type of arrangement. We have received reports over the years of hosts canceling at the last minute in an attempt to re-list the room at higher prices, leaving attendees with no confirmed accommodations with only weeks or days until the event.
Ultra Music Festival features a large variety of electronic music performers. These artists are announced in groups called “phases.” “Phase 1” is the first lineup announcement followed by “Phase 2” and usually “Phase 3.” These phases are not to be confused with “Tiers,” which are used to distinguish ticketing options. “Phase” number simply refers to the order in which artists are announced, and has nothing to do with the day that an artist is playing. An exact schedule of performers is announced in advance of the event. We recommend using the Ultra Worldwide Mobile App to create your schedule. During the event, you will be notified 15 minutes prior to each scheduled artist’s performance, so you won’t miss a minute of the action.
Every single artist on the lineup will be scheduled to perform, in person, at the event. Usually the performances are DJ sets, where an artist mixes music on turntables for an extended period of time. On the Live Stage (and sometimes other stages), there are performances the event organizers designate as “live” performances because they involve live instrumentation of some kind, whether it be drums, guitar, live synths, vocals, etc.
The festival’s stages have a variety of names, but they are all located within the confines of the event grounds and are accessible at any time during the event with any ticket you purchase. In particular, the “Ultra Worldwide” stage pays homage to our worldwide events, and the “UMF Radio” stage honors our weekly radio broadcast in 64 countries to an estimated 20 million listeners each week. The other stages also feature artists who will be performing in person.
Other than the artists and performers on our announced lineups, there are often some unannounced special guests that make surprise appearances at the event. These special guests will not be advertised in advance, but there will usually be a variety of these appearances. Usually such special guests are announced minutes before they are scheduled to take the stage via a push notification from the official Ultra Worldwide Mobile App.
Historically, many artists choose Ultra Music Festival to debut their new music because of the vast international audience viewing and listening at home and due to it being the first major festival of the year. If an artist chooses to play new music instead of the songs you are used to, try to be open-minded as this is a pivotal moment in the evolution of such artists’ career.
One of the biggest mistakes first-time attendees make is neglecting to explore the entire event. Every year, we have thousands of attendees tell us that their favorite performances of the weekend were from artists that they had never even heard of beforehand, and just stumbled upon the stage and performer accidentally. Every single stage is packed with the best talent in the world from open until close. You will often see an artist that would headline other festivals playing an early slot on a side stage. We go to great lengths to make sure that, no matter where you go or when, you will be able to listen to top talent.
You can view all previous event lineups here.
The festival is a stimulating 3-day musical experience, and it will be unlike anything you have experienced. Among one of the more important aspects of enjoying and attending the event is taking care of yourself – such as wearing comfortable shoes and clothing, staying hydrated since Miami is hot and humid and making sure to note where medical staff is available in case you or someone you know has a medical issue.
There are particular measures to attending the event and you should pay close attention because this information may dramatically improve your experience.
- Take note of what items are allowed and are not allowed into the event. Some prohibited items are obvious (no weapons, no illegal drugs, etc.) but some are less obvious. For example, event organizers do not allow normal backpacks that are not made of clear material (plastic, PVC, mesh). A full list of prohibited items, which may be updated based on new circumstances, issues, technologies and problems that may arise, can be found here and the bag policy can be found here.
- The event organizers provide free water available at the festival. The various water stations will fill your hydration pack or water bottle (which will be purchased at the event).
- Pace yourself. Many attendees think they will have energy to dance all day at the event and go to after parties each night. Only a tiny percentage of people do this. Don’t leave yourself too tired to enjoy the event on the second and third days. Respect your body.
- You won’t be able to reenter the event. If you enter then leave, you will not be able to enter again until the following day. Don’t worry, everything you need can be found inside.
It’s never too late to experience your first Ultra Music Festival. For a glimpse of what to expect, enjoy this year’s teaser video and we hope to see you this March!