To be clear, I’m not writing this because I have to. Let’s face it, Ultra doesn’t need the press. I am writing this post as an editorial to express the sheer honor I (and the rest of us here) feel for being invited to cover what is undoubtedly the largest and most talked about electronic dance event of the year in this country. This past Friday afternoon, I got a very unexpected call from Gballz, one of our co-founders, whose first words after I greeted him were “So I guess we’re going to Ultra.” To back up a bit, in no way, shape or form had any of us planned on going to the Miami dance event this year. Having been a couple times in years past, I know exactly what to expect and I didn’t feel the urge to drop a ton of money on the extra-hyped rat race this year. Sure, Ultra generally has the best lineup each year, even when stacked against EDC Vegas and Electric Zoo, and this year was no exception. In fact, the lineup this year is missing practically nobody. It’s awe inspiring. But would that be enough to sway me to empty out my bank account and beat my body up for a weekend in the hot sun amidst one of the least desirable festival crowds ever? No, but when you receive an invitation to Ultra, you don’t say no.
We’re not a large media outlet and we don’t pretend to be. We’ve gotten where we are today by being absolutely genuine, in what we post and what we don’t, and the relationships we made along the way. I don’t want to call out any blogs here but I’m sure you can all think of one that has completely sold out. Oh, Daft Punk may or may not have taken a piss? Let’s post about it. How about: Here’s a 30 second preview to a song that won’t be released for 6 months. Or my favorite: here’s a piece of gossip about Afrojack and the new bitch he’s been fucking or the car he just totaled. You all know the type. This isn’t fucking TMZ here. We like to post quality content, help undiscovered producers get the attention they deserve and use our discerning ear to pick out what hits the most and be honest about the shit that doesn’t. Just so you know, every blog gets sent the same PR emails each day and, from our end, it’s extremely interesting to see which ones just post something because they get sent it and which ones actually fucking listen to it first (the best example of this is when a mix gets released and 10 minutes later a blog has posted it. I’m sorry but how in the hell did you listen to one hour of music and evaluate it in 10 minutes?).
I digress. But my point stands that for a humble blog like us to get invited to cover Ultra Music Festival, it is an enormous honor to stand in a league with publications ten, fifteen, hell, 100 times our size and be given the same privileges on the festival grounds. While Ultra is not my favorite festival – never has been and never will be – there’s no arguing what it means to be there not just to attend, but to cover the artists, the shows, the people, the venue, the scene and everything else in between. And if THAT means emptying out my bank account and making last minute plans to make it down there, I’m on board 100%.
I could go on and on about the incredible lineup and the weather and all the fine females and the afterparties and the just epic proportions that make Ultra a truly unique and interesting experience but I’m not going to. All I want to do is say a big THANK YOU to all of you readers, promoters, artists and everyone else who helped us get to where we are today and who continue to support us day after day as we work hard to bring you the best damn electronic music journalism we can. I hope to see some of you down in Miami this weekend and if you see us, say hi and I’ll give you a nice, big sweaty hug.