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A Funny Little Thing About the ULTRA Music Festival

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We exited normalcy into what must have been the biggest club in the world, easily larger than any comparable venue located in the hottest nightlife districts of Europe or Asia. The size of five city blocks -- the pop-up outdoor warehouse was not only filled with the most cutting edge sound and light systems, but also packed to capacity with a hundred-thousand people. There seemed in effect a global gathering of dancing souls, moving to the rhythms booming out of the speakers, bouncing and nodding and weaving through a conglomerate of strobe lights, green-lasers and electric-ultraviolet grids of streaming and beaming light... we can just run them red lights...

Where on Earth did all of these people come from? Instantly we were swept into this wave of decadence, the rumbling on the floors, in the winds, from the gray clouds, forcing us to move our feet and dance like we never danced before. Occasionally an obnoxiously loud siren filled the air along with high-pitched whistles, as if there was a football game and the ref called an Illegal Motion penalty on a dancer, boots and pants and boots and pants, but the dance-off kept going, like a crew lead by the Energizer Bunny, whom we swear could've literally danced by... no one on the corner got a swagger like... A motley cast of the most colorful characters existed in this phenomenon. Despite the humid heat generated by dancing, many patrons were covered in furry leggings, like a Care Bear fell in love with a Fraggle. And there were Native American chiefs. So many Native American chiefs. And there also existed the most glorious temple of derrière. And the sexiest muscular lizards. And caped crusaders: {{{BASS}}} -- warriors-come-out-and-play-y-y-y-a-aaa -- Serious Carnage, some Damaged Goods, but all Killing The Noise with a Paper Diamond from a 12th Planet.

Many wore sunglasses, some Japanese Manga backpacks... ooh I tried to stay clear of all the waves in your atmosphere... Some dancing ninjas donned face masks, as if the bird flu were nearby. The air sometimes smelled like not only sweat, but menthol, from Vicks Vapor Rub. Color exploded everywhere, in fashion; in yarn threaded hair; all over an assortment of day-glow bracelets and necklaces, not to mention glow sticks that constantly flew across the circus like the rocket's red glare... I'm bulletproof, with nothing to lose, so fire away, fire away... and of course fireworks indeed exploded behind the main stage. Pyrotechnics on the Live Stage.

There was one girl named Molly who must've been the party's organizer, for she seemed extremely popular. People continuously came up to us asking either if we'd seen Molly, or if we wanted to party with her. There was no clock in this monstrosity, nor did anyone's watches want to work. Many phones were without signal inside the vortex. There was nothing to do but dance. And drink plenty of water. Everyone had a water bottle, or an extreme water backpack with a straw.

All of this chaos literally transpired in the streets of the Downtown corridor in the most emerging and best city in America. Biscayne Bay represented the backdrop and the skyline was littered with cranes and new condominiums. Many local McDougal's did not desire this Goliath. They wanted their city and park and ears and space back... so wake me up when it's all over... while unopened e-mails littered the editorial board of The Miami Herald with the gist being we are growing too fast to maintain this silliness -- move the festival out west. Ha! Good luck with that, McDougal.

Meanwhile, someone thoughtfully gave us a "vitamin" which had the effect of making all the colors and sounds in the big gigantic venue more vivid. It also kept us dancing, pretty much the whole way through, until the party closed down and everyone had to vacate, only seventy-two hours later. It's a dirty music festival, ULTRA, with paper and plastic spewed throughout the grounds -- there's no environmental awareness, no political activism -- just straight up {{{BASS}}} and high pitched {{{TINGS}}} and {{{BLINGS}}} with crackling electronic {{{POPS}}} and {{{BOINGS}}} mixed and tweaked and lathered with extra dirty {{{BASS}}} and scra--scra--scra--scratches -- if you got an itch than scratch it, scratch it -- all building up to beautiful crescendos that just drop with more {{{BASS}}} and {{{TINGS}}} and {{{POPS}}} -- we survived and marched out at the end of ULTRA like a tired zombie... i don't even know if I'm alive, without you now, this is what it feels like... but we'd do it again in a hot second even though we were so sick we had to visit the doctor. She prescribed us two Broadway plays and a John Coltrane album -- we were like "Whatevs" and drank some fluids, took a shower and went back to work the next day.

Author's Note -- some parts of this article first appeared in the novel "Deco'"