Elisa D’Amico

As a 90’s club kid from NYC, I’ve seen the electronic music landscape evolve from intimate underground gatherings to global spectacles that draw crowds in the hundreds of thousands. Ultra Music Festival is a testament to this evolution, a beacon for electronic music enthusiasts around the world. This year, Ultra is set to celebrate its 24th year from March 22-24, 2024, at the iconic Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami.

© Ultra Music Festival

The Phase 1 lineup for Ultra has been revealed and it’s nothing short of spectacular. With over 20 Miami-exclusive performances, the festival continues to uphold its legacy as a premier curator of genre-crossing electronic music talent. Calvin Harris, returning to Ultra Miami for the first time since 2013, headlines a roster that reads like a “who’s who” of electronic music royalty. The festival will also mark the debut of UNDER CONSTRUCTION, a new set by FISHER and Chris Lake, and Peggy Gou’s global RESISTANCE debut, among others.

Additional festival headliners include powerhouses such as Afrojack, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, and GRAMMY-winning Dutch icon Tiësto, each bringing their unique sounds to the Miami stage. Not to mention, the festival’s underground brand RESISTANCE will feature performances by techno and house music luminaries like Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, and Eric Prydz.

Ultra’s Phase 2 lineup features even more star-studded acts, including Armin van Buuren(bringing me back to my Pacha days), Chase & Status, KSHMR, Seven Lions, and the legendary Steve Aoki. Elderbrook (live), Klangkuenstler, RL Grime b2b Knock2, and Madeon b2b San Holo will debut as headliners while Nora En Pure’s Purified, Seven Lions’ Ophelia Records, and Coone’s Dirty Workz are taking over the Ultra stages to share their incredible talent with partygoers.

Ultra’s underground concept RESISTANCE will feature electronic music icons Sasha_JohnDigweed. From Twilo and Vinyl to Miami Beach nightclub M2 for the first-ever RESISTANCE USA club residency, the evolution of electronic music will continue when two of the most influential figures in progressive house and trance music take the Ultra stage. RESISTANCE also presents unparalleled performances from Ukrainian duo ARTBAT, GRAMMY-nominated English duo CamelPhat, HI-LO b2b Eli Brown, Mind Against, Massano b2b Chris Avantgarde, Miss Monique (who makes her Ultra debut), and Mathame presents AV: SHOW. Legendary English duo Orbital will be performing for the first time in 14 years!

(c) Ultra Music Festival

Reflecting on my own journey through the electronic music scene over the years, I have a deep appreciation for the festival lineup, which features nostalgic acts alongside fresh, innovative talents. Much like the way I’ve evolved from pigtails and JNCOs to frolicking around festivals with my husband and bestie, Ultra promises a journey through the past, present, and future of electronic music. From the explosive beats of Hardwell and the melodic trance of A State Of Trance (ASOT), to the deep, soulful rhythms of Nora En Pure’s Purified stage, it’s quite clear that Ultra has something for everyone (well, unless you don’t like electronic music).

But Ultra Music Festival 2024 isn’t just about the music – it’s a cultural phenomenon that draws a global community together. Last year’s sold-out festival welcomed 165,000 attendees from over 100 countries, and the #ULTRALIVE stream reached an astonishing 42 million viewers worldwide. The anticipation is palpable, and with limited Tier 2 tickets still available, Ultra promises to be better than ever. 

For those of us who have watched the electronic music scene burgeon from its nascent stages to the monumental scale of today’s festival scene, Ultra Music Festival is truly inimitable. It’s a place where past and present converge, where the beats of our youth meet the soundtracks of our lives today, and where people come together to enjoy the beauty of music and being alive. (IYKYK).

© Ultra Music Festival

A very wise man once told me “You only live once, and if you play your cards right, once is enough.” With that in mind and with Ultra on the horizon, I can’t help but feel a sense of homecoming, a return to the roots of my pure love for electronic music, albeit with the polish and spectacle that only Ultra can provide.

Get ready Miami.