Ultimate Ultra Music Festival Survival Kit

There's this shared fantasy among neo-hippies, blissed-out druggies, and naive first-time festival-goers that three-day music extravaganzas like Ultra are all about fun and friendship.

But here's the real deal: The music festival experience can be an arduous and often dangerous 72-hour trip into a deep, dancey heart of darkness. And like any large-scale gathering of unpredictable human creatures, the whole thing has the potential to tip over into total chaos with nary a moment's notice.

You might buy a bad batch of drugs. You might get dehydrated. You might get sick. You might shit your pants. And worst of all, you might not be able to issue regular social media updates about every last infinitesimal detail of your weekend in hell.

Location Info


Bicentennial Park

1075 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Downtown/Overtown


Ultra Music Festival: Friday, March 25, through Sunday, March 27. Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are sold out; ultramusicfestival.com.

These are the dangers of life in the wilds of Bicentennial Park. Be prepared with New Times' Ultimate Ultra Survival Kit.

5. Smartphone

In this socially obsessed, obscenely mediated world, there's no freaking point in attending any kind of party (um, let alone a major music festival featuring 200 acts and 149,999 of your BFFs) without an Internet-rigged means of documenting your many misadventures. So bring your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Samsung Nexus S. If you didn't Tweet it, you weren't actually there.

4. Empty Plastic Bag

Seems strange, right? But the thin, flexible, lightweight polyethylene pouch is one of humanity's most adaptable inventions. Really, its uses are unending. If you need to take a nap, you've got an inflatable pillow. If it starts to rain, you've got a poncho. And if you get caught in line at the porta-potty with an urgent case of explosive diarrhea, you've got a plan.

3. Mace

If you were headed for Bonnaroo, we'd suggest you bring insect repellent, because there's a good chance you'd get attacked by a million malaria-infested mosquitoes. But this is downtown Miami. It's all concrete. And you're way more likely to get bitten by a crazy dude than any member of the blood-sucking Culicidae family of flies. Hence, a trusty can of pepper spray.

2. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine

Colloquially known as Ecstasy, E, XTC, and thizz, this upper is a good time in tablet form. But it's not just a therapeutic mood booster especially adept at squashing bad vibes. It's also one of the most valuable commodities available to the average Ultra attendee. You can trade it for food, drink, sex, etc. And in the unlikely event that the strictures of society suddenly break down midway through the festival and people start lighting the whole world on fire (see: Woodstock '99), these little pills will become a form of de facto currency, supplanting the good ol' American dollar.

1. Water Purification Pills

There is only one resource more precious than Ecstasy at an electronic music festival. And that's water. So if by some strange sequence of events, human fecal matter finds its way into your H2O supply, you will be infinitely grateful for a pocketful of water purification pills. 'Cause we all know dehydration sucks. But E. coli poisoning sucks worse. Stay clean and pure, ravers.

My Voice Nation Help

haters gunna hate? Against ravers? PLUR


I live in miami, isn't Miami the issue or Miami cops , u get people from all over the place drug out, you will need an army to control this crown city isn't going to waisted it's resources on people that choose to go to such a drug festival. Is no secret that is what is mainly ablout. No is not woodstack the music on ultra is actualy good! But the crown just as bad... U can just go to the club and hear the same dj playing in a more control athomsphere ,,,js


so I'm assuming that there will be lots of cops, undercover, csi, and the sort to go after all of the people with the X and other drugs, right! I mean, an event that large, in this country, has to have some type of security, right? This isn't the 60's and it ain't Woodstock, I'm assuming Miami is ready for a festival of this magnitude, right? I mean your comments on this whole Ultra Music Festival negativity is really portraying Miami and its law enforcement of being inadequate to handle such a crowd.


Miami isn't going to waste its resources on people that choose to go to osuch a "drug" festival???? Man I am glad you're not the mayor or governor! Just because you go to a music festival, doesn't mean you're a druggie! You're stereotyping dude and that's not cool. Okay, grant it there are a lot of stupid asses that insist on medicating their brain cells but they're the stupid ones! Yeah let them get arrested or whatever...but let the real music lovers enjoy! and be protected by Miami's finest. We are citizens, pay our taxes and expect the security to be up to par! And Miami has one of the toughest drug enforcements around so what are you talking about??? I'm a 51 year old mom, dancer, dance teacher who went to one of these events for the first time in New York -- the Electric Zoo, and I went with my son, cause he really wanted to go it was his first time, and I wanted to know what these events were all about. Man, I had a better time than he did. Yeah...there were idiots all around, but the cops were on top of everything. So...I feel pretty confident my kid is going to have a good, and safe, time in Miami. He's not a druggie...and he knows how to say "No thanks.". Plus I'll break him in two if he gets in trouble. ha ha ha! So dude, don't stereotype and give Miami's finest a little credit. After all, you might need them one day, right? P.S. Woodstock was one of the greatest events in music history of all times... so dig it man!


@MadMadi SHUT UP lady! you and your "miami finest". Let people enjoy themselves and let loose! If they wanna do some drugs and have a good time, why not? People did it in the 60's and 70's just like you said. I bet you remember Woodstock and probably did some drugs yourself back then. And if not you probably regret not at least trying it. I don't condone drugs but I also don't condone narrow minded people that blindly follow what others tell them is good or bad for them.


Of course Miami is ready for this festival, just as it has been for the last 13 years. Ive been going since UMF7 and its grows every year at a pretty steady pace. As for the cops controlling all of it, you guys should realize what the cops realize. That your dealing with thousands of people on E. Now if it were 50k drunks in a festival, then you are absolutely going to have problems, but people taking E are the last people in the world to advocate violence, crime, or hell even disrespect for that matter. Miami cops arent seeking out to bust everyone, just to maintain the peace so everyone has a good safe time.

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