The Ultimate Festival Guide: Ultra Miami, EDC Vegas, Tomorrowland
Ultra Miami, EDC Las Vegas, and Tomorrowland are the three kings among EDM festivals. They are the center of the spotlight in the EDM world and their notoriety in throwing the world’s best parties is no secret. If you are an EDM purist, you must have dreamed about completing this triad.
Unfortunately, as far as I know – money does not grow on trees. With a limited budget, which one do you choose? If that is a question that lingers your mind, you’re in luck. We are here to break the festivals down individually and analyze what makes the experiences so unique.
Sitting on the scenic Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Ultra Music Festival boasts an incredible line up that is distributed among seven different stages. Preceded by Miami Music Week, it takes place at the end of March every year.
Location/Accommodation: One of my personal favorite features of Ultra Miami is its convenient location. It merely takes 5 minutes to walk to the venue from most hotels around the area; you won’t have to struggle to find a cab after a long day of raving. Though there is an abundance of hotel rooms – they will become extremely expensive (400 dollars/night) as we approach the date, so plan ahead!
Production Value: Pyrotechnics and light shows aside, Ultra features a spectacular new main stage every year – they are created with a futuristic industrial theme in mind. A notable mention: in 2013, Eric Prydz brought the largest hologram show (HOLO) in the world to his set at the main stage.
Budget: Ultra Miami could be pricey, with ticket prices nearing $500 it might just be the most expensive festival in United States. The money you save from transportation cost will be relocated to hotel fees. The accommodation is considerably more expensive than its counterparts.
Located at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, EDC Vegas features a comparable line up that its counterparts offer and eight one-of-a-kind stages. During EDC week, you can find world-renowned DJs performing daily at mega nightclubs (Hakkasan, XS, Omnia…etc) on the strip. It attracts a more mature crowd as the majority of the events (excluding EDC) have an age limit of 21 and above.
Location/Accommodation: If you are staying on the strip, it will be about an hour drive (with traffic) to the venue. However, Insomniac offers shuttles that run to and from the Motor Speedway at many major pick-up points. They follow a faster route that travels through a military base. Also, shuttle riders are offered a second entry point that is considerably less crowded than the main entrance. As for accommodations, Las Vegas has an abundance of hotels for cheap and getting around is a breeze with taxis.
Production Value: The entire festival is a wonderland theme park. With rides, art pieces and countless food trucks, it truly embodies the “carnival” spirit. The pyrotechnics at EDC is superior to its counterparts. Instead of only having the launch spots at the stages, they surrounded the entire festival ground with a giant ring of firework. The only aspect I could complain about the production value is that the sound system is not up to my standards. Which may be contributed to the flat and open geographical feature that potentially deteriorated the sound quality.
Budget: If you can find a way to get to Vegas for cheap, EDC will be a fairly low budget expedition with the ticket price oscillating around $380 and $100 dollars a night for hotels.
The mother of all festivals – Tomorrowland hosts a three-day adventure every year at Boom, Belgium. It has a line-up that no other festival can match; anything from chill electronic to hardstyle, you name it, they’ve got it. It truly is the holy land for all ravers.
Location/Accommdation: Boom is about a 40-minute drive from Brussels, parking is convenient if you have pre-purchased a parking pass. Speaking from personal experience: having both camped and commuted, I strongly recommend you to stay in Dreamville. There is always music, friendly people, and good vibes if you are looking to party. Camping is half the Tomorrowland experience.
Production Value: There is no match for Tomorrowland when it comes to production value. ID&T transformed the entire town into festival grounds. Boasting an average of 14 stages every year, the variety of music you can explore is simply incredible. The best part about Tomorrowland: the theme changes every year, the main stage itself becomes a spectacular art piece and the festival is designed with that in mind.
Budget: The million-dollar question: how much does Tomorrowland cost? Excluding the airfare, a regular Full Madness pass cost around 260 Euros and a Dreamville pass costs around 75 Euros. Food and drinks varies but expect to pay 10-20 Euros per meal. It really is not that expensive if you could manage to get your hands on a coupe of these puppies at official sale.
There is simply too much about these festivals that just can’t be put in words: the people, the vibes, and the genuine emotions that stems from these spectacles is what unites EDM as a whole. I promise you will have an excellent experience regardless of which one you choose. Rave on!