Ultra or EDC: What's the Better EDM Festival?

UMF.jpg
Gary Royale


Ultra Music Festival has been considered the largest electronic dance music festival in the world. It's won the International Dance Music Award for "Best Music Event" for six years, only losing this year to Tomorrrowland in Belgium. Even the Ibiza DJ Awards has called it the "Best International Dance Music Festival." But is it really all it's hyped up to be? Sure, it has the luxury of taking place during the Winter Music Conference, the only place in the world where you will see artists, DJs, execs, promoters and fans all in one city celebrating their passion for the same music. It unites people from over 70 different countries in one city, but are they really there for UMF? Or are the surrounding parties like the Swedish House Masquerade, Juicy Beach Pool Parties and Yacht soirees where it's really at?  And is all this greatness at Ultra really as epic as Insomniac Event's Electric Daisy Carnival?

1. The Setting


UMF: Aside from all the amazing parties going on in the city all week, UMF also brings in unique music and talent. Featuring more than 300 artists on several different stages over a three-day period. UMF has grown over the years to bring in headliners such as The Prodigy, Deadtmau5, Underworld, Fatboy Slim and Justice. They also have crossover headliner bands who incorporate EDM into their live music like The Cure, The Killers, New Order, Duran Duran and Empire of the Sun in a very Coachella-like fashion. They bring in a lot more techno and tech house from all over the world than other festivals.


 EDC: EDC takes place in Vegas over a three day period on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The venue is a hundred times better than Bayfront Park and actually supports the thousands of attendees without being too cramped or claustrophobic. Unlike UMF, which only goes on til midnight, EDC goes from sundown to sunrise, giving you a real massive all-night party. It's away from the strip, and residents don't have to worry about thousands of music fans being let loose into their city. If you're there to rage and party, why not do it til 6 a.m. in a city that never sleeps?


EDC1.jpg
Justine Martinez

2. The Experience
UMF: UMF is really just a bunch of stages (put way too close together this year) with top notch DJs. You couldn't walk from stage to stage, let alone experience anything else but watching a girl make out with a tree as you make your way around.
EDC: Insomniac Events has always been passionate about the experience of their attendees. EDC is its own magical world from the moment you enter. Art is a big interactive part of the festival as they invite you to connect, interact, and discover all of the amazing pieces strategically placed between stages. The décor at EDC is like that of a giant amusement park filled with free carnival rides, delightfully decorated stages with signature daisies and theatrics to keep you entertained far beyond the music.



EDC2011_JustineMartinez.jpg
Justine Martinez


Last year as Afrojack took the stage he shouted, "Have you ever seen a stage this F*cking beautiful?" As him and other artists were flown in by helicopter into the speedway I could only imagine the excitement they got watching thousands of little ants explore this magical city which Insomniac has created for us. A nightly firework show over the Circuit Grounds stage which went on for what seemed like eternity in sync to the melodies of the music and skydivers flying in during Swedish House Mafia's set as confetti and balloons exploded everywhere are just small examples of all the glory that is EDC. Watching the sun rise on top of a ferris wheel as your favorite DJ takes the stage is an experience that UMF can't even compare to.


3. Logistics

UMF: UMF is placed right in the heart of downtown Miami, overlooking the beautiful city skylines and waterfront. Besides that, however, getting around and finding the correct entrances were a serious pain in the butt. Security barely frisked any of the attendees I saw and everyone was allowed to bring in CamelBaks filled with who-knows-what. Once inside, getting all the way to the bathrooms, beer stands and $5 water vendors was not easy in the overcrowded event. The interaction between the hosts streaming live over UMF TV  and tweeting with audiences was pretty epic. But even my friends watching back home thought it was nuts to see people up in the trees and scattered around everywhere unsafely. Sure they have a VIP section and lots of bars to get drinks but so do every other festivals and clubs you go to see your favorite acts.


EDC: Insomniac Events are the most put-together and coordinated festivals of their kind. Security thoroughly checks everyone as they walk in and safety is their number one priority. They offer multiple free water refill stations, offer cool zones with mist, fruit stands, drinks and anything you could possible need at the general store; from band aids to condoms they want you to be safe! (Just kidding, I don't know if they sell condoms but they might as well). Owner Pasquale Rotella genuinely cares about his attendees and always answers questions via Twitter, updates Facebook with traffic advice and weather conditions as he wants everyone to enjoy his events safely. The PLUR he shares with his staff, artists, and fans is something I've never seen at any other music festival. So congratulations on your "Best Event Promoter" win at the IDMA's Insomniac Events and kudos for always being ahead of the game.


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Christopher Victorio


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58 comments
greaterdane94
greaterdane94

this is clearly not written by a true edm fan. Clearly, the author of this knows nothing about the significance of ultra. Ultra is the music festival not only has more energy, but it is also where every Dj plays a bunch of new tracks that have never been heard by anyone and creates completely new sets that will probably play for the next year, or similar to. EDc las vegas is after ultra and im sure 80% of the Djs play a similar set to the set the played at ultra. However, at ultra, everyones set is novel containing a bunch of bangers that will be played at festivals after all year around. For a music fan like myself, there is nothing better and more exciting than ultra. Its not even close

jers32
jers32

People forget it's not JUST Ultra your going to...people are there for WMC.  WMC was around way before EDC was even a thought....respect the fact that WMC was one of the main factors that brought EDM to the popularity it is today. 

wigmor16
wigmor16

have not been to either, but based on what i have read i will defiantly been partying in Vegas this year.

lola_kane
lola_kane

This is one sided bullshit I went to both festivals this year and Ultra kicked ass, Forget a 3 day party Ultra was a 7 day party from sun up to sun down with beautiful people from all over the world (literally) who came for one reason (to party hard). Ultra wins hands down!!!

dylanjubis
dylanjubis

Its about the Music and the Energy and ULTRA has it.

Chris Hedum
Chris Hedum

edc is simply much better in all aspects to lame ass washed up ultra. accept it and carry one.

Chris Hedum
Chris Hedum

ultra is lame. edc shits all over miami.

Adelgado1000
Adelgado1000

lmaooo thats right kiddos, thats all EDC has haha dumbass

Adelgado1000
Adelgado1000 like.author.displayName 1 Like

who doesnt roll in the day??! lol its during WMC, pool parties everywhereeeeee, you obviously havent been.... and btw i rolled balls at ultra and drank

Adelgado1000
Adelgado1000 like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is article is fucking retarded. Its not about the entertainment or the light shows, or who had better stages and how many people were there, its all about the music. Ive been to both Ultra and EDC, Ultra is fucking awesome being that its in miami during winter music conference (best time of the year) .. a week straight of non stop partying, all the djs play in all the clubs, pool parties, rooftop parties. When your at EDC you only go to the festival and thats it. In miami i was on 6 hours of sleep in 4 days, its literally non stop partying and and seeing your fav artists perform... In my case i dont listen to that dubstep, electro, moombah etc. i listen to straight techno (dubfire, richie hawtin).. so I think Ultra had better djs then EDC... and you cant go wrong in miami, beautiful women from all over the world ;)

sg83701
sg83701

you is an is fucking retarded!!

Chris Hedum
Chris Hedum

edc trumps ultra in all categories with ease.

Marcello_rossi73
Marcello_rossi73

i've been to both masquerade and ultra because i live in miami never been to edc i am going for 2013 , but anyway ultra in my opinion is over crowded everyone there is a huge dick , everyone that's only been to ultra say it is the best thing in there life , im 17 years old and honestly ill say that masquerade 2012 was 10000x better then ultra , ultra is full of 12 year olds and people who think they know about house music , the only reason people go to ultra is because of the hype also ultra takes 100 hours to get into. i know i am going to get alot of hate on this comment but honestly you can't tell me different i have been to both and hands down masquerade was alot better then ultra in every way. Can't wait for EDC everyone tells me it is unbelievable !

latham
latham

I've done both festivals and experienced club life of both cities. I will not be returning to Vegas for EDC again. Everyone talks about west coast knowing how to party blah blah blah, but all I found there was a bunch of youth talking about getting to see Tiesto for the first time or how they are upset Skrillex isn't on the bill.  Miami brings more people for the music, that have been passionate about it for a considerable amount of time. Also get a lot of Europeans adding more diversity compared to Vegas (85% Cali, 15% other...random numbers..). Though I know Miami has its share of douchebags, there are ways to avoid them. For one, there are South Beach clubs and downtown clubs. South beach tends to be more over the top and filled with people I don't enjoy being around. Downtown has more true edm fans not about money or being seen. Vegas does not have that option, everything is over the top and all they care about is $$$$$$$. Miami clublife is much better than Vegas in my experience. WAY better stacked lineups and just more options. As for the festival, honestly it might just be a toss up between the two. Ultra has better/diverse talent & beautiful views. Vegas is more spread out, more art decor. Ultra has better energy than Vegas, maybe its being up all day and at pool parties, but Vegas seemed pretty dead at times. Armin, Porter, Dada Life on the mainstage at EDC was a derp fest. Very disappointing.. I guess the main thing that makes me want to say I enjoy Ultra more is you don't have to wait 1-2hours in traffic each way in/out of the festival.  In all honesty, I can't recommend either of these festivals anymore. WMC > All. 

Luhanna Mostajo
Luhanna Mostajo

Fuck that I've been to both & UMF is 100x better! plus I rather be in miami than a shitty desert

Boconnor1993
Boconnor1993

Wtf EDC is about 10x better than Clustered UMF

ElectroBoricua
ElectroBoricua

I live in LA and I have attended the EDC events at the Colosseum in LA until that one stupid kid died of drugs or whatever and I attended Vegas EDC. I went to UMF in Miami this year for my first time and WOW! It's a totally different crowd and experience. The people made a huge difference. The crowd mainly consisted of Europeans, Latinos and Canadians (of course Americans too) and they were so damn good looking! Lol. They really got into the music and it was just crazy! EDC does have neat features (booths, decor, lighting, etc.) but something about being next to the Miami bay, the weather, the people, the neon skyline and the line-up makes it so surreal! EDC has more kids (literally) than UMF, I noticed. UMF's crowd is more 19+ (that or the people act and look physically mature for their age). The event finishes up at 12am BUT there is so much going on all over the streets that you're kind of glad you get to enjoy the rest of your night partying/clubbing! Both EDC and UMF are great events but based on my experience, UMF is the shit! If you haven't been, GO! I plan on going next year to UMF and unfortunately, I will be ditching EDC. It's not the same for me now that I've attended UMF.

plur116
plur116

Hell Yeahhh!!!! that's right EDC is the best EDM event out there!!! and now Q-dance is partnering with insomniac its gonna be sick!!! RIP ULTRA #It'sAllAboutTheExprience (:

mojo jojo
mojo jojo

Better lineup? Check out phase 1 of edc this year. Already more promising than ultra or tomorrowland.

billy
billy

although EDC is great, UMF>EDC ANY day. gone to UMF for 3 years in a row, and every year it changes my life. EDC didn't do that for me. Miami's environment is incredible, vegas is also but it's just too damn hot during the day. and the reason it's so well organized now is because some 15 year old girl died at EDC LA. whoever says EDC is better and hasn't attended Ultra---stfu.

monica brozinsky
monica brozinsky

If you roll, you like edc. Its for true all night druggers. (Who rolls during the day?)

If you drink, you like umf. It ends at midnight to accomodate all day drinking.

I hate the argument about who "has better music" both give you enough to stack your day with everything you could want.

Hero
Hero

All you guys are fanboys from both sides. STFU and get over yourselves

Greg Jackson
Greg Jackson

Miami is a sh*thole and everyone will realize that Vegas is going to take over the EDM scene in the U.S.

Jimmy Gonzalez
Jimmy Gonzalez

Are you kidding me?  This is the most biased article written in such a pansy way.  You want to be in Las Vegas in the middle of June in 120 degree weather.  And then when the party is finished you are stuck in the middle of the desert.  No thank you.  We start the party and Noon and we go until Mid Night... And when your done ... YOUR IN MIAMI... So there is water, beach and hundreds of clubs open.  No UMF wins hands down!

GHSpam
GHSpam

You are a total idiot and clearly did not attend EDC-LV.  The weather was 80 degrees every night.  If you got "stuck in the middle of the desert" (only 10 miles from The Strip BTW), then you simply did not plan ahead.  Which wouldn't surprise me based on your uneducated comment.  EDC-LV all the way!

Anonymous
Anonymous

At least the person writing this article has been to both events. It's obvious you haven't as it was far from being 120 degrees 10pm-6am. The weather was actually perfect and kind of cool to be honest. Dry vegas > humid Miami FACT

Chad Craig
Chad Craig

as i sit here in vegas, wearing my F*CK Dennis Romero shirt (literally) i am glad to see someone take notice of amount of detail that goes into saftey and that fine balance  that you only see at EDC or any insomniac event for that matter.

I have been to a few festivals around the globe and Insomniac has really stepped it up in the last 4 years!!!

second to skol beats in Brasil, i have never felt safer at a edm event than i have at EDC vegas

Fredy Hernandez Jr.
Fredy Hernandez Jr.

This article is obviously written by someone that works for insomniac, at least no one at UMF died because of drug consumption; something you forgot to add in the article.

Bosterasoy
Bosterasoy

Then just leave your sorry ass in Vegas and don't come to Ultra. EDC might have some good things, but the atmosphere at Ultra is like none other. I love both UMF and EDC, but UMF and the whole MMW experience could never be topped in the desert or LA or wherever else Insomniac wants to try. Miami is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. The people is what makes Ultra what it is.

GG2
GG2

 well said. ima leave this page now. urcomment says it all =]

brent cordova
brent cordova

LOL SO MANY MAD UMF MUSCLE HEAD STEROIDS, EDC > UMF KIDDOS DEAL WITH IT.

Ultrawarrior
Ultrawarrior

Pascuale ??!? is dat u buddy ?? didn't know L.A. County Jail let prisoners have internet access ; )

This was an extremely biased report.

Anonymous
Anonymous

 This article was not by Pasquale dumb fuck. Did you even read it? lol

Ukeeprecyclingangello
Ukeeprecyclingangello

Weren't artists brought in by massive yachts to ultra? Pretty cool as well. So was carl cox. And fedde le grand. You remember fedde he performed last year at E...oh wait nevermind. Case closed.

Alex Da Wolfman Georges
Alex Da Wolfman Georges

You sound like you were paid by Insomniac to write this. Better yet, a person trying to get their foot in the door with Insomniac so they can get paid to write shit like this on the internet..... Dont get me wrong, EDC was pretty awesome in Vegas..... But i would have it back at the Coliseum in a heart beat. And as for UMF...... ITS MIAMI..... AND THE WORLDS BEST.

Merp989
Merp989

just curious....do led robots shooting lazers all over, and an entire hotel overlooking ultra with a 3d graph of bricks falling and bass speakers etc NOT count as art? Or in vip you could see what was going on at other stages on the google feed on led screens? Next time walk further and enjoy the ocean breeze dumbass

Ripedc
Ripedc

Oh no someone from OC couldn't find the free water fountains at ultra or find clubs that stay open till noon the next day. This is a redic biased article. Failed to mention shuttles failing getting to edc, long as drives to the desert, people dying in LA and Dallas, and a promoter that's headed to jail for bribery. Thanks I think we will take the ocean front ultra over a corrupt desert rave. And for a fact, ultra flew in several handicap attendees who bought tix and couldn't afford flights. Do research next time not just pick your areas favorite.

GHSpam
GHSpam

 You also forgot to mention that promoter of EDC-LV that you are referencing (inaccurately) personally drove fans to their hotels when they missed the shuttle back.  EDC >UMF all day!

GHSpam
GHSpam

 what a joke!  "long drive to the desert" - 10 miles in Vegas is a lot shorter than gridlock traffic in Miami. 

Marcy
Marcy

Lmao yea cuz those deaths were caused by Edc! Ure dumb! And as for bribery it was the founder of go ventures not insomniac! U do ur research !

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