Whether you had the good fortune to be at Miami’s Bayfront Park this weekend or you watched the madness unfold on its live Twitch stream, you will know that the 17th annual Ultra Music Festival really did have a few tricks up its sleeve this year. Even if you just glanced at Facebook or Twitter occasionally over the weekend, the talk of Ultra antics seemed unavoidable.
Musically, everything was in place with a line-up that smashed in all directions from the most premier-league EDM headliners to underground house and techno and all the best shades of bass. Reports of Bassnectar and Porter Robinson’s truly historic sets will take a long time to settle. As will those of Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet’s unannounced Get Real performance and Snails being revealed as a surprise guest.
However most of real over-the-top madness came through the main stage missions and various surprise appearances. Here are seven Ultra Music Festival 2015 events that were genuinely one-off and will go down in the festival’s epic history.
Skrillex brings Diplo, Bieber and P Diddy bring the finale fire
Everyone knew the rumours about Diplo and Bieber joining Skrillex for his closing show already. They were also joined by vocalist Kiesza and South Korean vocalist CL. There are rumours that Bieber was lip-syncing during their performance of Where Are U Now. Check it out below and work it out – it’s not easy with all the screaming from the crowd.
Ariana Grande & Cashmere Cat
Meanwhile on the Ultra Worldwide stage, Cashmere Cat had a star-studded cameo of his own… Ariana Grande joined him on stage and sang Adore and Be My Baby. She even brought out a spare pair of cat ears for the Norwegian producer. Cute.
Martin Garrix & Usher
Laying the foundation for the epic surprise performances above, Martin Garrix set the precedent on the Saturday night as he ushered Usher on to the stage for special performance of their current soft-prog sing-along Don’t Look Down. Appearances from current pop princes and princesses like Bieber and Grande are big enough… But an R&B titan like Usher? This level of pop/electronic music fusion is another level. Before this year had you predicted Usher would take to the stage at Ultra you’d be laughed out of the room. Here’s a fan-captured slice of the action…
Tiesto messes up… But flips it with a message about pre-mixing
Just moments after his own surprise guest Martin Garrix leaves the stage, things go awry for Dutch main stage monolith Tiesto as the music and visuals all cut out for a few seconds, leaving the crowd a little confused. Rather than keeping his head down until the vibe goes back up, he takes the mic and states “as you can see, I never do a pre-mix”. Fair play. (Check the video around 34 minutes)
DJ Snake posted Dillon Francis’s number on a screen
Arguably the funniest moment of Ultra came courtesy of DJ Snake yesterday on the mainstage. In-fitting with Dillon Francis’s troll-minded tongue-in-cheek behaviour, Snake decided to display Dillon’s personal phone number up on the big screen. According to Your EDM reports it took five minutes till fill Francis’s inbox before fans took to old school SMS tactics. Dillon took to Twitter with some numbers… Over 1000 texts and 500 missed calls. Friends rule, right?
NFL star Gronk twerks on stage with 3LAU
Arguably one of the weirder moments… When New England Patriots superstar Robert Gronkowski hauled his 256 pound frame on to the stage to twerk for 3LAU!?
Deadmau5 vs Krewella
The mau5 didn’t even perform at Ultra this year, but that didn’t stop him hitting the UMF headlines… Watching the live stream at home, he called out Krewella for apparently not having their CDJs plugged in. They respond with the image below showing the decks were powered by USB. This wasn’t enough for deadmau5 who proceeded to entertain his followers with numerous USB-related pictures.
Clearly, all stops were pulled out at this year’s Ultra Music Festival. And they’re already amped for another three-day extravaganza next year. 2016 Ultra dates were confirmed within hours of closing this year’s show. Save the date: March 18-21. More info.