So you're going to Ultra this year. Maybe you're a first-timer, or perhaps you're a veteran. Maybe you're going for the music, or maybe you're going
When you get that many bodies together in one place, there are bound to be a few assholes, both literally and figuratively. Ultra, like most other major dance festivals across the world, adheres to the EDM philosophy of PLUR: peace, love, unity, and respect. Generally, this makes for quite a pleasant festival experience. People smile, are polite, and embrace one another as a sort of glittery, half-naked family.
But even among the most loving groups, there's
Don't be the Judas of Ultra. Be the Jesus of Ultra. Follow these simple steps and maybe — just maybe — you won't be the worst person at Ultra this year.
10. Act like you've seen a titty before.
Don't be that dude breaking neck every time a piece of flesh walks by. Look, this is Miami. On an average day, you're lucky if our sphincters aren't hanging out. During Ultra, be prepared to see some skin. That means no open-mouth gawking every time a nipple appears. You're not a 12-year-old who just hit puberty. You're an adult with access to the internet. Act like you've been here before.
9. Get down from that poor man's shoulders.
He's trying to impress you, which means he's not going to tell you that his ankles are about to snap and he's inches from losing consciousness. Look, don't make him say it. No guy wants to tap you on the tummy and say, "Hey, can I take a breather?" That falls in the category of things Chris Hemsworth would most definitely not say, and it makes us feel like weak vegetarians. If you must get up on someone's shoulders, please make it for one song only. It's a cool view, we know, but ain't nobody paid $300 to stare at the back of your head.
8. Don't film other people in embarrassing moments.
Some people do things at Ultra they'd rather not have spread all over the web. For example: In 2012,
7. Respect personal space.
We know it ain't easy to do at a crowded festival, but you can try. Don't sprint through Bayfront Park, stomping on reclining ravers like lily pads. Accept your fate at the back of the bathroom line instead of trying to army-crawl to the front. If you want to engage in some consensual dancing with another Ultra attendee, please don't hesitate. But don't launch sneak attacks with your groin on unsuspecting patrons. You'll look less like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing and more like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
6. Stop Snapchatting everything.
It's natural to want to show everyone just how much fun you're having. You paid good coin for these tickets, and now you want to rub it in everyone else's face via social media. We get it. It's not a new phenomenon. According to history books, before social media, adults used to invite people over and force them to look at photos from their vacation. Now we don't have to strap folks to our couches in order to make them jealous. We can do it remotely. But there's a fine line between a snap or two and acting like the Werner Herzog of iPhones. Once you find the perfect filter, stick that phone back in your pocket and leave it there, because Carl Cox is higher-def in person.
5. Don't litter.
4. Know your limits.
Last year, on my way from the main stage to the live stage at Ultra, a man strolling toward me vomited without warning, paused only briefly to pick up his cigarette (which was launched from his mouth during the whole vomiting thing), and continued on his merry way like nothing had happened. It was, for one thing, very impressive, but also unsanitary and a bit of a buzzkill. Pace yourself, people. It can be tempting to want everything all at once when you first walk through the gates of Ultra, but it's going to be a long day, so drink water and take it slow.
3. Don't lose your friends.
Stick together. Losing your friend at Ultra is like dropping a penny down that crack between the driver's seat and the center console. Once you lose them, unless you have a predetermined meeting spot, chances are you won't find them again. Your cell phone won't work. No one can hear you scream. And everyone in Bayfront Park is probably wearing the same neon-green tank top as your friend Lisa. You should hang out with people more original than Lisa.
2. Quit pushing your way to the front.
Don't shove your way to the front row of a set when you're 30 minutes late. This is more of an overall concert rule than an Ultra-specific one, but it applies nonetheless. If you wanted to be close enough to smell David Guetta's cologne (probably Axe's Dark Temptation), you should have shown up early. But what you shouldn't do is juggernaut your way past a thousand people. Wow, you just boxed out a dozen 90-pound 18-year-olds — very impressive. Do you work out?
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1. Don't be a fashion idiot.
One of the most exciting aspects of Ultra is the fashion, but it can also be the most disappointing. Chances are you don't get a whole lot of chances to dress up in anything you want without the consequence of judgment, so use this opportunity wisely. Don't fall into the raver fashion clichés: no furry kitten hats or neon tank tops with not-so-subtle drug references. Be original. Let your outfit be an expression of yourself rather than an imitation of everyone else. Also, no racist stuff. Leave the Native American headdress at home, and don't put a bindi on your forehead unless you're Hindu. It's not cute. You know what's cute? Cultural awareness. And kittens. Kittens, too.