It's been a tumultuous year for Ultra Music Festval. The 2019 edition on Virginia Key didn't go exactly as planned, but for now, barring any shenanigans, the festival has resecured its longtime home at Bayfront Park for 2020.
Now the festival has announced the first phase of acts slated to play next year's edition. After news leaked last night that Flume would perform, Ultra confirmed this morning via a media release that the Australian producer is getting top billing. He's joined by three other "live headliners": Gesaffelstein, Major Lazer, and Zedd.
The rest of Phase One is largely business as usual. EDM heavyweights such as DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, and David Guetta will join veterans like Carl Cox and Above & Beyond, while Detroit techno legend Richie Hawtin will provide a much-needed light in the darkness for dance music fans seeking nonmainstream offerings.
It looks like Ultra will also offer a large number of back-to-back and back-to-back-to-back sets this time. Nghtmre will play with Jauz, Slander will play with Kayzo, and Carl Cox will go back-to-back with Maceo Plex in addition to participating in a back-to-back-to-back with Jamie Jones and a secret guest. Maybe presenting unforgettable DJ pairings is Ultra's latest way of selling tickets following EDM's decline in popularity.
In other news, Carl Cox's Resistance Megastructure stage will be active at Bayfront all three days of Ultra for the first time, while the A State of Trance stage will begin Saturday instead of Sunday.
The relationship between the festival and Miami city officials over the past year has been tense. The 2019 edition on Virginia Key was marred by the first night's infamous traffic issues that forced thousands of attendees to walk across the Rickenbacker Causeway back to the mainland. Those logistical problems and other difficulties led the festival to terminate its agreement with the city and begin looking for a new home elsewhere in South Florida.
The search ended in July, when city commissioners debated a resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Keon Hardemon (District 5), to allow Ultra to return to Bayfront Park. It passed 3-2, although the festival will have to make some changes — sound levels will be lowered, a stage will be eliminated, and organizers must pay hefty fees — and still faces opposition from NIMBYs in Brickell and downtown. Nonetheless, it's good to have Ultra back.
Here's the full Phase One lineup of Ultra Music Festival 2020:
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- Major Lazer
- Zedd presents the Orbit
- Above & Beyond
- Adam Beyer B2B Cirez D
- Amelie Lens
- Armin van Buuren
- Carl Cox
- David Guetta
- DJ Snake
- Dubfire B3B Nicole Moudaber B3B Paco Osuna
- Eric Prydz
- Jamie Jones B3B Carl Cox B3B Surprise Guest
- Jauz B2B Nghtmre
- Maceo Plex B2B Carl Cox
- Martin Garrix
- Richie Hawtin
- Slander B2B Kayzo
- Tale of Us
Ultra Music Festival 2020. Friday, March 20, through Sunday, March 22, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; bayfrontparkmiami.com. Tickets cost $399.95 via ultramusicfestival.com.