As Ultra Music Festival Miami 2014 approaches, it’s easy to catch yourself drooling and wide eyed, marveling over this year’s lineup. Any seasoned Ultranaut can tell you that preparedness for this massive excursion is the only way to experience UMF to the maximum. Here’s our list of helpful tips to navigate the gargantuan dance music blowout. See how to navigate Ultra on the next page! >>>>>>>>>>>>
1. Memorize the park. Dancing in the Miami sun for six+ hours can leave some partiers a bit delirious. Before that happens, note the landmarks and tall surrounding buildings. This will help you get a better aspect of where you are in the park and where you need to be. Make sure to pinpoint bathrooms, exits and medical stations in relation to large hard-to-miss landmarks.
2. Don't bring all that stuff. The last thing you want are backpack straps chaffing your neck and shoulders raw, you'll just end up carrying all of your friends belongings for 10 hours straight, how nice of you. Just bring what you can dance and move around with comfortably. General EDM consensus states that fanny packs are the way to go.
3. Note the time. Say you planned all year to see Gesaffelstein at the Live Stage, but really, you're still dancing your ass off to Eric Prydz at the Main Stage. Rushing back is futile. Make your schedule and stick to it, write favorite set times on your arm if you have to in neon markers.
4. Or just download the UMF'14 app. This interface is perfect (if you can manage to keep your battery life above 20% by 5pm). It times, maps of the park, news updates, and the ability to customize your own schedule so you don't miss your favorite artists.
5. Speaking of which, bring a back-up charger. We like the mophie space pack, it’s the world's first smartphone case with built-in storage for the iPhone 5/5s. In addition to providing 100% battery boost, the space pack allows users to save and share more photos, videos, music and documents within their iPhone case. This way you can stay in touch with your friends and take photos of all your favorite DJs and not worry about that gnawing red battery alert.
6. Hit the smaller stages. You can easily lose focus of the true idea behind UMF if you're a quarter mile away from the main stage trying to capture the DJ booth with your iPhone zoomed all the way in. Get back to the music and get yourself some room to breathe, dance, and get some clear shots by visiting some of the smaller tents and stages.
7. With all the dancing and running around, don’t forget to hydrate. If you don’t drink water and sodas, preferably 7UP (when water becomes boring and some extra energy 7UP is our beverage of choice for fests), you will become fatigued fast and worse, risk passing out in the heat.
8. Lose the flip-flops. Do you really think those a thin sponge sandals are going to provide you with the support needed for a cumulative 36-hours of dancing, walking, and raging? Better set yourself up with a pair of festival sneaks for the weekend. If you don't have a pair; sacrifice your favorite running shoes, it will be well worth it.
9. “Festival crowd dance-running.” Yes, it is a real thing, and it might be your only salvation from a 25-35 minute walk to the bathrooms. Let the music flow through your body, start moving while dancing, soon you begin to contract a heightened sense of fellow bro's and broads' dance movements while you glide effortlessly through crowds of thousands like a phantasmal gust of EDM wind.
10. Coming through, VIP here. If you were able to get your hands on some VIP passes, you already know you're in for a treat. For the rest of you we have two words, “save up,” get yourself VIP next year. With rapid entry lines, comfortable raised viewing and seating areas, VIP bathrooms, and most importantly: special access behind closed gates for the absolute quickest routes for multiple paths between stages.
Turn it UP, drink UP and live it UP with 7UP.