Backstage At Miami Ultra: Inside The Secret World of Celebrity DJs
With nearly 200,000 attendees, Ultra Music Festival is among the largest electronic music events in the world. But, behind the beautifully illuminated veil of the festival’s giant main stage lies a whole other world that’s typically been invisible to the general public–until now.
It’s a world of beachside cabanas surrounded by artists, managers, and celebrities against a backdrop of Miami’s waterfront and copious amounts of free-flowing Möet & Chandon, Belvedere, and Red Bull. At it’s busiest, this secret area might house fifty guests (or .025% of the festival’s attendees), a welcome retreat from the impassable crowds that seem to define the rest of Ultra.
Here, you’re almost guaranteed to be within a foot of one of the world’s best DJs at all times.
Of course, if celebrity-laden beachside cabanas aren’t enough, this year the festival also secured Miami’s SeaFair Mega-Yacht, a 220′ work of art that happens to float when exposed to water. During the festival, the yacht served as an even more exclusive retreat for everyone from Swedish House Mafia to deadmau5 before playing host for Russell Faibisch’s (the owner of Ultra) official after-party featuring Carl Cox.
Beyond the miniaturized luxury resort that rests behind Ultra, an enormous army of staff and production engineers roam the festival around the clock to power the incredible visuals and special effects that emerge from the festival’s enormous main-stage.
These range from lasers and innumerable LED lights to full-scale fireworks and pyrotechnic displays that can be seen from all over the city.
Yet, while effects dominate the show in front of the main-stage, there is a consistent rush of A-listers entering and departing the festival in everything from Lamborghinis and Ferraris to the black van shown above (which happened to be a part of Swedish House Mafia’s exit strategy following their final performance together).
To peer inside the secret world behind the main-stage, you’ll need to procure one of about five different bands that determine your level of access. These range from press and photo passes to artist credentials, All-Access (pictured above), production, and Ultra staff. As for how to actually acquire one, Lifestyle Espionage will be your new best friend.