Talking Shit

Ultra Music Festival Survival Guide: Kit Not for Sale

The grand and intense Ultra Music Festival is quickly approaching. A gazillion ravers and electronic music lovers have gathered on the bay in Downtown Miami to party till they drop for 14 years now. That's only one away from its quinceañera, a big deal down here. 

Ultra is a pulsing body of energy, lights, and sounds. You'll totally love your time at Ultra even if you kind of hate it. You may end up all eaten up, sunburnt, and exhausted, but you'll have experienced something rare, crazy, and magical. 

We put together a survival guide to help you get through the maze of music and costumes -- one that will help you stay not only alive but enjoy your time at the festival. 

10. Things that glow
With Kraftwerk onstage, LED ties will be big this year. Make your own. At Ultra, all things that glow are good. When it's dark at night, glow sticks will guide your path around the park and offer fun-to-look-at trails. 

9. Fluffies
It's cool to look like an acid-induced Shetland pony hallucination. You'll be sweaty in your furry leg warmers, but it's the thing to do, so just do it. Deadmau5 gear is also encouraged. 

8. Fanny Packs
OK. Maybe these aren't cool, but they're practical. Gotta keep those hands free for raving!

7. Hula-Hoops and other toys
Ultra is, beyond the music and community, a time to play, so bring your toys. 

6. Your elbows
If you're going to maneuver your way through 150,000 people, you need to use your elbows and "excuse mes" a bunch. Polite works, but sometimes, you'll just have to go headfirst and plow your way through the sea of partiers. The more glowing items on your body, the quicker the sea of folks will part. 

5. Closed-toe shoes
It's definitely dusty out there at Bayfront Park. Do not, we repeat, DO NOT wear sandals. Closed toe is the way to go. Catch these bad boys up there. They'll light your way into the night. 

4. Goggles, preferably tinted
The dust may also get into your very sensitive eyes. The sun will be intense. Your pupils may be dilated. It's Miami! Bring some tinted goggles, and at night, they look kinda cute on your head. 

3. A map
This may be obvious, but you're going to need that map to find all the many hidden stages and, of course, the bathrooms. 

2. Earplugs
Be nice to your ears and plug those babies up! They'll thank you later by still working. 

1. Patience
Ultra is a wonderful experience. You'll be enriched by its audio pleasures, but you may also be tried by the insane number of people experiencing varying degrees of intoxication that will surround you. Patience is key. Just take some deep breaths, adjust your fluffies, and enjoy the music. Keep calm, and listen to Deadmau5. 

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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