Episode 2 of 20 Years of Ultra is now up, Ultranauts. Let’s show you how dance music arrived.

Dance music was created in the United States but Europe took the lead when it came to producing large events. With restrictions for large electronic musical gatherings in the early 2000s, many popular DJs skipped the US entirely on their tours. Ultra Music Festival Miami became the notable exception.

This festival has since grown because the music has grown. As it became increasingly popular in the US, people started travelling from all over the world to attend. This could’ve been a nightmare. But the benefits for the city were greater.

Headliners like Tiesto and Ferry Corsten reminisce on what its inception was like. DJs were still playing vinyls. There were no pyrotechnics. It was just people and music. This was about celebrating music, people, and life. Ultra was truly the beginning of musical festivals. For Tiesto, he remembers just wanting to be part of the lineup. With so many internationally accredited artists, how could he not? Paul Van Dyk, Armin van Buuren, and many others have played through these stages. Now with Tiesto appearing at almost every one, the floodgates have opened in every single way.

In the United States, UMF is one of the few places where electronic music fans can see a large number of electronic artists and LIVE bands in one place. Junkie XL and Rabbit in the Moon have played, giving this place serious character. Looking back on how small the stages used to be and how the DJ culture started, it’s clear that everyone involved in the early years were apart of something very unique and special.

Every year, Ultra gets better and better. The impact is monumental; the people and music are wonderful. It’s been quite a journey over the past 2 decades! Live performances, memorable audiovisual experiences, and unforgettable memories, what’s next? Stay tuned for more trips down memory lane with this series.

You can watch Episode 2 below.