by levina | October 4, 2011

At 3:00PM EST on Saturday, October 1, Ultra Music Festival unveiled its early bird tickets with 3-day GA and VIP tickets priced at $149.95 and $599.95 respectively. Due to an overwhelming rush, early bird tickets sold out, and 20 minutes later, UMF moved up to its second tier price.

Nearly two years ago, when my friends and I were young and green and without CamelBaks, we found ourselves stuffed into a tiny condominium on South Beach with no food, no water, a few tubs of neon face paint, and weekend passes to UMF 2010 (in retrospect, I have no idea how we survived the weekend with our poor planning).

Between cameos in week two of Express Spring Break 2010 videos and photos, armed only with the most basic knowledge of electronic music (graciously imparted to me by my French friend Eric), we tackled an incredible lineup of Tiesto, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Passion Pit, Dirty South, Carl Cox, Pretty Lights, Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, Major Lazer, Diplo, ATB, Glitch Mob, Above and Beyond, Crookers, and The Bloody Beetroots during the first UMF to ever sell out.

Having never been to an outdoor music festival before, I only vaguely remember Guetta’s dazzling light show and Afrojack’s brilliant remixes at UMF XII. Everything else was largely a blur of sweaty bodies, DJs with heavy European accents, beautiful people, rowdy dancing, and the most incredible music I’d ever heard in my life. With over 100,000 other attendees, I got my first taste of heavy bass and developed an addiction to electronic dance music that would still make my pulse race 18 months later.

Now, two academic years later, my roommates and best friends are the friends I shared Ultra 2010 with. Although I unfortunately do not have plans to return to UMF any time soon, it will always have a special place in my heart as my first experience with outdoor music festivals and the big names of electronic dance music who now saturate my iTunes.

by levinaCORTLE