What to Bring to Ultra Music Festival in Miami | Miami New Times

Here Is Your Ultimate Ultra Music Festival Survival Guide

Here are some valuable tips to ensure you have a great time at Ultra Music Festival.
Are you really prepared for Ultra Music Festival?
Are you really prepared for Ultra Music Festival? Photo by George Martinez
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Music festivals are strenuous endeavors that take a toll on the human body, from your ears to your toes to your back and knees. While Ultra Music Festival is nestled deep within Miami's urban core, the everyday elements are taxing and require a little foresight to ensure the only thing dropping are the beats. Here are ten items that'll help you survive three days of electronica.

Chaffing Cream

Thick humidity combined with short shorts and the power of music is a surefire way to feel the burn — literally. Your thighs will thank you whenever you apply an anti-chaffing cream to keep the legs smooth amongst all the deep house floating around.

Comfy Sneakers

Clocking in around 30,000 steps is not unusual at Ultra, and your feet will feel like you ran a few 5Ks. Your soles will burn badly between concrete and grass without some much-needed protection. A pair of quality running shoes will serve you nicely.


New Times hates nothing more than acting like a parent — but you kids have left us no choice. Wear earplugs for the love of everything that is holy and decent in the world! My ENT told me he wears earplugs to the Adrienne Arsht Center — no fooling. Earplugs, well, protect your ears, making sure you survive the three days of pounding bass without tinnitus (AKA rinnnnnnnnnnnng). A cheap piece of rubber in your ears will save your hearing for years. I use these for every show I go to, and they work like a charm.

Hand Fan

Even though the breeze of Biscayne Bay is delightful, the odds are slim that the cool wind will hit you when you're in the middle of 50,000 attendees. A fan will keep you cool with little more than elbow grease. But I must warn you: Never clack. Ever.

Hand Sanitizer

Festivals are nasty outings — so much skin rubbing, touching, and bumping. A little bottle of hand sanitizer keeps those nasty germs out of your life so you can avoid the post-Ultra sniffles. Plus, those food and drinks are sticky; a quick little dab of hand sanitizer will keep your hands smooth and your immune system rocking out.


Yep, not much to this one. It doesn't matter which hat you choose, so choose one to match your wardrobe. Hats keep your head cool, the sun out of your face, and the sweat out of your eyes.

Hydration Pack

Spending $6 on a water bottle every time you're thirsty would be unwise. It would be even more foolish to skip water altogether. But now you do not have to choose. Since Ultra offers free water stations, a hydration pack can usually hold around 50 ounces of water — meaning you'll never miss your favorite DJ dropping your favorite track as you go to get water. It happens every time.

Public Transportation

There are many reasons not to drive to Ultra — one is the sheer brutality of nonexistent parking or comically expensive parking fees. Instead, the Metrorail (about $2.50 per trip) and Brightline (price varies) will get you to Government Center, where you can take the People Mover (for free) to Bayfront Park. The Metrorail and Brightline will have extended hours, so you don't have to worry about leaving before the last beat is dropped.


There is a reason why Ultra has been in the heart of Miami: the perfect weather. But even a tropical paradise has drawbacks, like the punishing heat and UV rays. Unless you're a techno die-hard and choose to spend your life in the covered Megastructure, your options are limited. A squeeze bottle of your favorite SPF will keep a potential sunburn at bay. Oh, and because you'll be sweating, sunscreen with water resistance is a must.


A good pair of sunglasses are twofold for Ultra. First, sunglasses block those pesky rays — ensuring you don't have to squint your way through your favorite daytime set. Second, the production lights are seriously bright. This is also compounded by the fact that stages like the Live Stage and Megastructure have ceiling lights that'll add to the lumens. A pair of glasses will help alleviate all these concerns, so you do not have to look at the ground for 12 hours.

Ultra Music Festival 2023. Friday, March 24, through Sunday, March 26, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; ultramusicfestival.com. Tickets cost $399.95 to $1,499.95.
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