Filtering by Tag: ultra

Ultra, Rolling Loud, iii Points: You're all the same.

Yup, we said it. The biggest music festivals in Miami are all, let’s say it again, the same. Genre? Ok, that’s different but we aren’t talking genres, we’re talking big picture. Date? Yes, that’s valid and venues, those are different too. What we’re talking about today is pricing, accessibility, and goal.

Ultra, Rolling Loud, and III Points (2019) ALL have price points over $300. I don’t care where or when you bought the ticket, there’s no way you payed less. To be honest, most of us payed more (if you’re lucky enough to go). To make the math quick, it’s $100 a day. Add drinks, food, weed, and all the extras you’re looking at $150.

We love to say that “we’re rich” in Miami, right? That we can afford anything? Try going to one of these festivals and tell us that you aren’t hurting after. We won’t believe you. No matter how much $150 is to you, $150 is A LOT of money for one day of fun. Yes, you get to see all these great acts that separately would’ve been $50 a pop. We understand that. But, and there’s always a but, these festivals have the ability, first of all, to make it cheaper. On top of that, they’re using the same venue for multiple days (meaning better pricing). You start thinking about that and well, you get upset. Just like we are.

To understand our frustration we have to look back at what makes music (and music festivals) so great. Music festivals started with the idea of bringing people together, plain and simple. It didn’t matter where you came from, what you did, what you were outside of the festival what mattered is that you were there to share a moment with people you knew, love, or if you didn’t know any, to share a moment with everyone (sorry for the run on sentence, we got excited).

From being a public gathering, we’d make the claim that music festivals have gone private. Staying in the 305, Rolling Loud has become the largest hip-hop music festival in the world. This year marks their five year anniversary. What has changed between year one and five? Price. Five years ago at Mana you could get a ticket for $50! Now we’re looking at $400 (with no single day tickets available). Ok, ok. The festival is three days, the names are huge and the venue/times have changed. Cool. I feel you Tariq. Our question remains: Why so expensive? Why aren’t their opportunities for underprivileged individuals to go? Why aren’t their volunteer positions? Internships? Anything?

For us it comes down to accessibility. Music festivals like Ultra, Rolling Loud, and III Points have the ability to change individuals lives. Their power is across all social media outlets, locally and globally. They need to take advantage of what they have, respect the culture of music festivals, and understand, ultimately, what music is. We’re not in the 1990’s in which blacks and whites couldn’t be in the same arena. Today, we have the ability to bring all peoples together and learn, connect, and grow. Our problem with music festivals and the world is something so simple yet complex: Why can’t we be the same? Why do certain people get to experience things others can’t? And, finally, why can’t we help each other, at least locally, grow?

UMAMI’s here to bring back the reason music festivals began. Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festival, to name a few, started a legacy of what we now know as “music festivals”. We aren’t bringing back Woodstock, it’s the mantra that we’re looking for. It’s not about the money (to a certain extent), it’s not about materialism, it’s about bringing people together for the love of music, plain and simple.

* We have to say that we’re lucky enough to attend all three festivals and support the culture to the most. Yes, all three can improve but so can we! We all can. *

* We have to say that we’re lucky enough to attend all three festivals and support the culture to the most. Yes, all three can improve but so can we! We all can. *

Ultra has an Ultra problem

Ultra Music Festival. Should we stop there? Nah, you’re right. Ultra’s globally recognized as a powerhouse event company. We can’t say Ultra Music Festival and quit. It’s like foreplay that doesn't end in a happy ending, another word for it, blue balls.

To understand Ultra, we need to go back almost two decades ago. Holy fuck I’m two decades old! Anyways, on March, 1999, 7,000 people gathered in Miami Beach’s Collins Park (runs from 17th-25th street) to hear headliners Rabbit in the Moon and Union Jack. 50 performers, $30 tickets, it started with a rave.

The first Ultra was a success (kinda). It’s reported that co-founders Russell Faibisch, a Beach native, and Alex Omes, an Argentine who moved to the Beach during childhood, lost $10-20,000. Putting that into perspective to what Ultra’s become, it’s pennies.

Years go by and Ultra only grows. Working alongside Miami Music Conference (MMC), Ultra became the closer of the week-long conference to eventually be the main festival of MMC. From there, the sky was the limit. Ultra now hosts 20+ music festivals a year in 20 countries. If that isn’t amazing we don’t know what is.

Along the road to success Ultra had its bumps. Its natural for any event company, only thing Ultra had going against it is Miami. It’s people, the government, and the awful traffic.

Let’s start with the people. We just mentioned co-founders Russell and Alex. There’s a story about these big boys that goes way deeper than Ultra. 2010, 11 years after starting Ultra, Russell and Alex had a falling out. Alex was ousted from the organization and it was up to Russell to take over. This is when it gets super interesting. While locked in a years-long legal battle with his former business partner, Omes died in his sleep the day before his lawsuit against the festival was set to go to trial. Miami New Times later reported he had drugs in his system, though the autopsy was not conclusive. Bamn. Just blew your mind right quick.

We can talk more about the drug arrests, trampled security guards and the infamous “girl kissing a tree” vid you can find here. It’s all relevant to how Ultra came to be but we understand, “time is money”.

Today is what we need to address. Ultra has had continuous and prosperous growth in Miami dependent on the continued support of locals and Miami’s finest government services. That continued support ended many years ago, each year scaring Ultra to pick substitute venues (just in case). The time has come that Ultra might really need to have alternatives.

The day of VENTURE 2018, Miami commissioners rejected an agreement made between Ultra and the City of Miami. Carollo, the commissioner who chairs the agency that manages Bayfront Park (for this case the big shot), continually denies any proposals made by still CEO Russell Faibisch. His worries are the same of residents. Traffic, loud music, drugs, and safety, all important issues Ultra needs to figure out. The fact is: If Ultra doesn’t come back with an agreement commissioners will sign, well, they’re fucked.

Ultra’s in a pickle that everyone knows about. What’s their next move? Well at UMAMI we know what we would do. Get as many of those commissioners to say yes to Ultra. Let’s be realistic: Ultra brings an economic incentive to Miami, it keeps the culture of electronic dance music alive and it serves as a ritual to almost any local who knows Miami for what it is, the magic city.

Since we’re here anyways, if Ultra has to move, where would it be? The Everglades? Hard Rock Stadium (Rolling Loud Part 2)? Homestead-Miami Speedway? No matter what, Ultra will be here March 29-31st. For fucks sake, tickets already sold. Comment below.

Curious to know more? Click on  LOCALS ONLY  and we’ll take you through an interactive journey.

Curious to know more? Click on LOCALS ONLY and we’ll take you through an interactive journey.