Downtown Miami

Before it became the world’s biggest EDM party, Ultra had humble beginnings

Scenes from Ultra Music Festival 2016

Crowds enjoy the music at the first day of the Ultra Music Festival Friday, March 18, 2016, at Bayfront Park in Miami.
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Crowds enjoy the music at the first day of the Ultra Music Festival Friday, March 18, 2016, at Bayfront Park in Miami.

The world’s biggest EDM party hits Miami this weekend for the 19th time.

Ultra Music Festival, which runs March 24-26, will feature veteran acts Afrojack, Carl Cox, David Guetta and Tiësto, as well as live headliners Ice Cube, Cypress Hill, Justice and Major Lazer.

The festival, which started as a satellite event during Winter Music Conference, has become a destination for music fans from all over the world.

From its humble beginnings as an 11-hour rave on the beach in 1999 to its massive 2013 double weekend, Ultra is chock-full of great stories.

Like, remember the time Miami’s mayor tried to shut down Ultra in 2003? (The reason: drugs.) What about the time a Miami commissioner tried to shut it down in 2014? (The reason: drugs again.)

Before you grab your glowsticks and bikini top, respect the ravers who came before you by taking a moment to reflect on just how far Ultra’s come with this festival timeline.

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We asked seniors to respond to the annual craziness at Miami's Ultra Music Festival.

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