If you want to find a happy place, may we suggest Ultra Music Festival? There's nary a frown at the whirling neon EDM bacchanal, which just concluded its first of two consecutive weekend takeovers of Miami's Biscayne Boulevard and Bayfront Park with the likes of Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, and Richie Hawtin.
There's also not a lot of clothing, as you'll see in our semi-NSFW gallery below. But what's even more striking than the fashion -- or at least comes close -- is how well-run the festival is. Ultra has seven stages, dozens of major acts to juggle at any one time, more than 100,000 attendees, and a small village's worth of bathrooms, venders, carts, tents, and security. But the festival, in its 15th year, is a marvel of organization and runs incredibly smoothly, especially considering its tight footprint Downtown.
Things we loved: that on Saturday, the side stages -- particularly Ultra Worldwide -- were as packed and riotous as the main stage. The new stages and lighting setups were mind-blowingly beautiful. The weather was amazing. Traffic wasn't really all that bad. We saw a handful of previously injured but determined ticketholders gamely crutching through the crowds to enjoy. A sweet man high on something tried to kiss us. And we spotted dozens of Biscayne Boulevard dwellers enjoying the revelry from their balconies.
One bummer: just as we walked by the Live Stage, we heard Brooklyn band Yeasayer's frontman come to the apparently unfortunately realization that he was playing a festival for fans of electronic dance music. "We've seen a lot of really weird shit today," he said, sounding pretty unhappy about it, and launching into a complaint about how so many "asses" were hanging out of "too short" shorts. He was really hung up on the short shorts.
But dude, you're in Miami, we're practically naked year-round, everyone else is happy but you, and maybe you should have looked into this EDM festival thing a little bit instead of insulting the audience. Just a thought.
Check out all the people we did love at Ultra's first weekend: