Ultra Music Festival

Ultra Music Festival 2012: Five Reasons Why Bayfront Beats Bicentennial for 2013

Spending the weekend at any one giant concert event is a huge commitment. It means you have to dedicate your feet, belly, ears, and soul to one place for three days. In 2012, Ultra Music Festival moved from last year's location at Bicentennial Park to Bayfront Park. Now, if you know the area, you'd be like, Who cares? They're like a five-minute walk from each other. And you'd be right on your geography, but the distance isn't what made Ultra 2012 more of a relaxing commitment than 2011. It was so, so much more than that. We've narrowed it down to five pretty good reasons why Bayfront beats out Bicentennial and why they should book it again for Ultra 2013.

5. There's grass at Bayfront.

There are many things unpleasant about hanging out with 100,000 21-year-olds with lollies in their mouths, dancing like it's 1995, but hanging out with them in the dirt makes life nearly unbearable. Over at Bicentennial Park, the dirt made mud and dust, whereas the grass at Bayfront only produced dust. Black snot we can handle; mud on our fluffies, we cannot.

4. Live Stage seating? Yes, please!
The worst thing about last year's Live Stage at Bicentennial was that you had to walk past the Main Stage and slender food court area to get in or out of there. It made things very claustrophobic, and when you're a claustrophobe soberly covering an event for work, this is a problemo. This year, media peeps easily made their way into the Live Stage area. So easy. And there were paths around leading everywhere, none blocked at anytime.

The Klipsch Amphitheatre offers both seating and views of the stage. Even when everyone was on their feet, hands in the air, bumping about, you could still see the stage. After ten hours on your feet, seats are a blessing.

3. The good views
Though both spots are on Biscayne Bay, Bayfront's got his nice little pathway that leads you around the water. It's like that sedative you need before you go on to the next party. It's like the Xanax or the big fat blunt of nature. A walk by the bay is relaxing -- a loud-as-shit walk, but a walk nonetheless.

2. Biscayne Boulevard clear of traffic. Rad.
The last time they shut down Biscayne Boulevard was for Celia Cruz's funeral procession, and the time before that was probably for the FTAA protests. It was kind of nice to be able to just walk around where you'd normally be driving. Made biking there pretty easy, and it was funny to watch the cops ogle the drug-addled dancers, dangerously shimmying close to the ledges of their bayfront apartments.

1. Madonna, even though nerdy, is better than Will.i.am.
In 2011, the big star of the event was boring Will.i.am. At least this year, it was Madonna presenting Avicii. Now, we care about not at all about her cheesy reference to the drug molly, which everyone had digested in the Main Stage crowd, but Deadmau5 did, and the level of corny controversy the statement produced is better than Will.i.am. Anything is better than Will.i.am. Madonna sounded like an old grandma yelling about drugs... but like yelling about the joys of drugs.

Remember tina? Did tina die? Isn't she more Madonna's age? Molly's more appropriate for Lourdes. Madge is such a "cool" mom. 

The biggest drawback and most questionable situation? There was a sea of porta potties, all without lighting. When it was time to pee, these boxes of filth were as dark as coffins. Can someone please put nightlights in there next time? For the love of God, some of us cannot hold it.

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy