Ultra Taiwan announcement expands itself to two days

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Ultra Taiwan announcement expands itself to two daysUltra Taiwan

Ultra Taiwan announces its adding a day to their music festival, culminating in a two day event. Now, the bigger event will take place at Taipei Dajia Ultra Park in Taipei, Taiwan on September 8-9 of this year. Powerhouse festival company, Ultra, continues to dominate in Asia, curating the continents largest music festival.

Taiwan’s Road to Ultra will be celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. To celebrate, if anyone purchased a RESISTANCE Taipei or Road to Ultra ticket, they have the option to upgrade for a fee and gain access to UMF Taiwan. Those that purchased a combo of both tickets will automatically be upgraded for free. With past headliners such as Above & Beyond, Chainsmokers, Zedd, and  Martin Garrix; festival-goers can ensure an event up to par with any past Ultra experiences.

Tickets can be purchased HERE. Single day passes are $125, and two day passes start at $170. Fans are eagerly awaiting for the lineup announcement, and those considering traveling the long-distance will have easy access to mainland China for an extended trip. It’s surely worth the experience.

Photo Credit: @ultrataiwan/Instagram

Ultra Japan announces robust phase one lineup topped by DJ Snake, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, and more

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Ultra Japan announces robust phase one lineup topped by DJ Snake, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, and moreUltra Japan 18

Again demonstrating its ubiquitous presence as a worldwide festival phenomenon, Ultra has locked in a stellar, multifaceted-as-ever billing for its fifth anniversary of the global festival’s Japan installment, to take place over an extended weekend on September 15-17.

Topping phase one of the 2018 bill are high-rollers Nicky Romero, DJ Snake, Armin Van Buuren, and Zedd, as well as all three parties from Swedish House Mafia, though they appear as their separate, respective acts: Axwell Λ Ingrosso and Steve Angello. Having the Mafiosos in the same place at the same time begs the question of whether fans could witness a surprise performance from the storied threesome who reunited earlier this year at Ultra’s flagship location in Miami. The initial wave of talent also includes the likes of Oliver Heldens, Cash Cash, and Eats Everything among others.

The Tokyo-based festival will return to Odaiba Ultra Park. Tickets can be purchased here.

 

Here are all of the best performances of Ultra Europe 2018

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Here are all of the best performances of Ultra Europe 2018Fc10341779a5af40f2fc5fb2805d0ec6 L

Ultra Europe‘s 2018 installment in Split, Croatia brought together some of the finest globetrotting DJs in the world — Afrojack, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, and DJ Snake, just to name a few. Now, with the festival in the review, Dancing Astronaut has gathered some of the highlights in their full set form.

Whether it was a set from a legend like Afrojack — who managed to drop six IDs in his set – or one of the masters like Hardwell, Carl Cox, and Steve Angello – who also treated fans to a delightful ID; Ultra Europe was far from a disappointment. The weekend was filled with incredibly touching moments as well as reminders of the indelible connection and emotive release that dance music coexists within, including Axwell ^ Ingrosso’s immensely touching tribute to Avicii.

Thanks to Mixcloud, everyone who was unable to attend can revel in the best of the best. It’s almost as if the desire to make it out next year wasn’t already tempting enough.

Afrojack

Axwell Λ Ingrosso

Carl Cox

Charlotte de Witte

Cheat Codes

Dense & Pika

DJ Snake

Eats Everything

Galantis

Hardwell

Jon Rundell

Steve Angello

Miami city commissioner to Ultra Music Festival: pay $2M annual fee to city to renew Bayfront Park contract, or relocate

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Ultra Music Festival organizers will face a steep price tag if they wish to keep Miami’s veteran music event in its longtime location of Bayfront Park in the years to come.

The Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA) circulated a petition in July 2017 that called on Miami’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to return access to Bayfront Park — DNA residents’ “neighborhood park” — to downtown Miami locals. “Since the beginning of 2017, Bayfront Park has been closed to the public or in a state of disrepair for over 100 days because of mega-concerts like Ultra and Rolling Loud,” the document read. The petition surpassed 1,100 signatures when it reached the hands of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo.

Now, the feud between downtown Miami dwellers and large scale Bayfront Park hosted music events like Ultra Music Festival will come to a head as Carollo presents UMF orchestrators with a financially oriented ultimatum: pay $2 million annual payments to the agency that oversees Bayfront Park, or take Ultra elsewhere.

UMF organizers’ previous contract permitted the festival to occupy Bayfront for a five-year period. In exchange, Ultra Music Festival paid the city of Miami a sum comprised of a usage fee and a ticket surcharge that was then tacked onto the cost of each individual UMF admission cost. The city collected an average of about $663,000 from UMF over the five-year stretch, notably enjoying an elevated profit of $742,000 in 2018. Given that Ultra’s contract expired in 2018, festival organizers will need to make swift and strategic moves if they plan to keep Bayfront Park as Ultra’s home location.

While Miami residents like Rev. Pedro Martinez continue to call upon city officials like Carollo to ‘stop the prostitution of the park to multiple events,’ Ultra lobbyist Ray Martinez reiterates the global value inherent in the festival that, in many ways, put Miami on the musical map. ‘Let’s look at the positives,’ Ray Martinez said, ‘We talk about Miami wanting to be a world-class city. Ultra is a world-class event. It is the Art Basel of electronic music.’

Rolling Loud is also expected to face steep fees if it seeks to return to the park in future years of festival production. Neither Ultra nor Rolling Loud have commented on the recent contract related complications.

Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage

H/T: Miami Herald

Hardwell & Grammy Award-winning orchestra deliver highly anticipated Ultra 2018 intro, ‘Conquerers’

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Does Hardwell ever sleep? In addition to an endless touring schedule, the big room don has consistently delivered new music in 2018, and what’s more — now he’s dropping off his stunning intro from Ultra Music Festival. It’s become an annual tradition for the Dutch superstar to treat fans with the official version of his opening track and they somehow get better with each passing year. Dubbed “Conquerers,” Hardwell’s latest offering is divided into two distinct pieces but conjoin to create one of Hardwell’s strongest productions in recent memory.

The first half of the two-part “Conquerers” was constructed with the assistance of Grammy Award-winning Metropole Orkest who have previously lended their orchestral prowess to some of the world’s most iconic creators, including U2’s Bono, Elvis Presley, and Pete Tong among others.

Hardwell has stated that he specifically works on a fresh intro to debut at Ultra and then play out for the remainder of festival season. In this case, “Conquerers” arrives just two months following the performance so the early offering has fueled some speculation that another special intro track could be looming as the Dutch legend prepares for his return to Tomorrowland later this year following a two-year absence.

Report: The most commonly used drugs at music festivals

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Over the years, drug and alcohol’s relationship with electronic dance music has heightened its foothold in worldwide festival culture. Music festivals themselves undeniably afford a collective culture of intoxication — a palpable permeation of substance use and abuse that one can sniff out regardless of whether they choose to partake or not. Considering substance abuse’s assimilation, one may find themselves wondering just how deeply drugs and alcohol are intertwined with the modern festival landscape. Is substance abuse worse than it seems, and how is the industry taking responsibility for its needed conversations about these substances and their abuse?

In an effort to gain a better understanding of the how the industry is working through its deeply embedded substance use and abuse, it’s helpful to first try and understand the roles different substances play at festivals. To do so, TickPick — an ever-growing ticketing marketplace — surveyed 1,000 attendees of well-known music festivals about their own intoxicating experiences. Their participants ranged in age from 18 to 74, with a mean of 32.4. In the end, their results revealed not only the common types of drugs at festivals and which events are associated with which substances, but a general synopsis as to what the landscape of American consumption looks like in 2018 and beyond.

Overall substance use at festivals

More than three-quarters of participants reported consuming alcohol while attending a festival, which is roughly double the percentage of participants who had consumed any other substance and almost more than twice the rate of those who consumed marijuana.

Though more than a third of respondents reported smoking marijuana at a festival, a smaller, yet still significant portion of people reported using harder drugs. Thirteen percent of respondents reported using MDMA in some form, with hallucinogens’ use clocking just below at roughly eight percent apiece.

Substances use per ticket type

There remains some debate about the optimal festival experience: dance it up with the raucous crowd, or keep things refined with VIP privileges? Whichever route one takes, TickPick’s data suggests a slightly boozier vibe outside the VIP area. Generally, it suggests that a larger portion of general admission attendees consume alcohol, which may come to a surprise to those in VIP, with the complimentary alcohol some of the VIP experiences entail.

On the other side of the spectrum, the data found that VIP attendees generally were more likely to do a range of drugs than those in general admission. Between marijuana, MDMA, cocaine, and hallucinogens, VIP pass-holders were substantially more willing to indulge than the average festival-goer. A possible explanation for this trend is financial limitations. As VIP experiences can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, one can imagine these individuals can succumb to the use of any substance at their disposal.

Greatest substance prevalence per festival

Though alcohol was the leading substance at all festivals, TickPick’s data brings about some interesting findings on other substances. One might expect Coachella would have the highest rate of marijuana-smoking in the cannabis-friendly state of California, but the data aligns quite well with the bans of the substance on the grounds, despite the state’s recent legalization of weed for recreational use. EDC and Ultra each had high rates of MDMA and cocaine consumption, and ultimately, Burning Man had some of the highest rates of overall drug use around. Perhaps this significant rate of consumption can be pinned on the festival’s “gift economy,” where food, supplies, and even drugs are shared openly as a means of “payment.”

Top festivals for each substance

Ultimately, the final data lends itself to some idea of each respective festival’s consumption demographic. SXSW, for instance, led in rates of alcohol consumption. While cocaine use was the highest amongst Ultra attendees, a finding that may result from a mix of EDM culture and the festival’s deep historical roots for the drug and a recent resurgence in Miami’s cocaine trafficking.

While geographical differences may explain some findings, it is a bit difficult to understand why Alabama’s Hangout Music Festival led others in DMT use, as just one example. EDC was another consumption leader across the different categories, also ranking in the top three for a number of substances. This point ties into the festival’s battle with health and safety concerns with drug use in the past, including more than 1,000 attendees needing medical treatment in 2017. Though there are issues and ambiguity within the self-reported data like TickPick used for this study— including,  but not limited to, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration — these results do shine a light on the landscape of American substance use, nonetheless. Here’s to hoping some of these findings diminish the blind eye to EDM’s drug abuse, increases awareness, and implements further safety precautions down the line.

Via: TickPick 
Featured Image: Courtesy of Goldenvoice

Hardwell talks performance prep, Tomorrowland, and his plans for 2018 [Q&A]

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At this point, Hardwell is virtually a household name. With millions of fans and no shortage of global airtime, the producer has leveraged his niche in this industry into a full fledged cult of personality. From his flagship charity concert to his United Nations initiatives to his perfume line (seriously), the producer does it all.

The superstar also, of course, finds time to make music.

At the end of any given festival weekend, the king of bigroom is always among the conversation of the top performances — he has long been known to melt the mainstage crowd with his unbelievably high energy sets that keep hands up high for hours. Loaded with some of the most massive IDs of the summer and edits that have fans’ mouths agape in awe, Hardwell’s performances seem to somehow take it up a notch each and every year.

Considering the producer’s unique status as a festival mainstay and EDM icon, we spoke with Hardwell about how he preps and what’s up next.

 


 

Your festival sets are always one of the most highly anticipated events of the EDM calendar year. How do you go about your preparation for these big shows and determining your tracklists?

The biggest struggle for me is to finish up the collabs and solo tracks just in time. I’m always changing up my intro so I have to prepare that as well and come up with new edits and mashups. I prepare these sets for months in advance.

You are finally returning to Tomorrowland this year after a few years of not playing. How did that come about and did your reunion with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike play any sort of role in your comeback?

Tomorrowland didn’t book me for a couple years after the small Twitter thing. We’re all good though and I’m really excited to be back at Tomorrowland. I also have that collab now with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. There’s no name for the song though and it’s not even finished yet, we just premiered it at their show.

Since last summer you dropped 3 EPs, what are your plans for 2018? Are you looking to make a follow up album or to just continue to release more EPs and singles?

I’m not really into an album anymore. I don’t think it’s really relevant for an EDM artists to actually release an album but today during my set you can expect a couple of songs from the Hardwell & Friends EP, Vol. 4. Some great collabs and not even with upcoming guys but bigger guys plus a couple of solo tracks and the new intro obviously. I’m really proud of my closing track too, which is a new hardstyle collab with Wildstylez.

Who is one person that you would love to collab with this year that you haven’t in the past?

If I had to pick one person, my dream collab would definitely be Pharrell Williams. I admire him as a producer, as a person and as a singer/songwriter. Everything he does, I am just a really big fan of him.

How do you feel about the current EDM and pop crossover that’s happening with artists like Zedd and The Chainsmokers? Do you think it’s here to last?

With EDM, it’s getting bigger and bigger. Don’t forget that dance music was an underground movement. People always say that dance music became mainstream but it’s the other way around. The mainstream got more into dance music so it was just a matter of time before the pop culture influenced dance music and the other way around. I like it though, it creates diversity and makes it more accessible for everybody, which makes dance music more interesting. If you’re a young kid and hear a dance record on the radio, it could automatically get you into techno and that’s great for dance music. As long as there is a proper underground and a proper mainstream, they will both benefit from each other.

We know you had a massive collab with Martin Garrix that had the entire world talking. Is that officially scrapped and do you have plans to work on something in the future?

It’s always great to collaborate with an artist like Martin, he’s a fellow Dutchman and we always have great fun bouncing ideas off each other – I don’t wanna say it’s scrapped as it may see the light of day yet. You know, we’re both very busy touring with shows non-stop and our own labels but we have a lot of creative fun together. We for sure hope to have something out in the future.

Who are some of your favorite upcoming producers at the moment?

SWACQ is a really cool producer from France, I played an ID of his in my ULTRA Miami set so I wonder if anyone can spot it! Harrison is a UK vocalist that I’ve also worked with before on my United We Are album and he’s producing his own music now with a future-bass kinda sound, different for him but it works – we also have a new track ‘Earthquake’ dropping together soon. Trobi is also a super-new artist who I’ve got some exciting music from in my inbox, a really fresh sound and It would be amazing to release something from him on my label Revealed, who knows!

Hardwell’s Ultra 20 set get the ‘drops only’ treatment [Watch]

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Those who want to bypass builds and just enjoy a series of nonstop drops can now seamlessly do so via a “drops only” oriented reboot of Hardwell’s Ultra 20 set.

An amalgamation of Hardwell’s early electronic classics and new IDs alike, Hardwell’s original Ultra 20 set generates a near palpable anticipation leading up to each drop, but when removed, the builds give way to a high powered procession of the EDM titan’s thunderous descents.

H/T: EDM Sauce

Slushii delivers heavy-handed seven-track ‘Find Your Wings’ EP following massive Ultra 2018 performance

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Slushii rukes

It’s been an exciting journey thus far for Slushii. The emerging young beatmaker, born Julian Scanlan, has deservedly settled in as one of the industry’s most lauded new talents after a meteoric breakthrough campaign over the last year and a half. Coming off the heels of a brilliant return to Ultra performing at the Worldwide Stage, Slushii is keeping the momentum high, following up with the release of his brand new Find Your Wings EP.

Blending bass-heavy and euphoric, upbeat melodies with a hint of 8-bit inspiration, plus the use of his own vocals, Slushii has proven to be a force behind the console, showcasing his versilitity on the new collection. Speaking on the new EP, Slushii told Dancing Astronaut, 

“This EP was really a culmination of what I grew up listening to mixed with some of the craziest sound design I think I’ve ever done. Super stoked for peeps to hear it.”

The EP is seven tracks of headbanger-approved dubstep from front to back, culminating on tracks like “Bounce,” a menacing “Fired Up,” and the EP’s lead single “Where I’m At.”  Ultra proved to be a perfect testing ground for Slushii’s new solo products, and between his recent outing in Miami and his debut LP last year, Out of LightSlushii’s upward trajectory seems to be as steep as ever.

The new independent EP, released March 30, is available now on all digital streaming platforms. Showing off his versitile hand in the studio and an ear for heavier sonics than we’re used to from him, enjoy Slushii’s dabble in dubstep on Find Your Wings. 

 Featured Image: Rukes

Alan Walker plays Spotify ad during Main Stage Ultra set [Watch]

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Alan-Walker

Spotify ad breaks seem always to arrive at inconvenient times: prior to the listener’s favorite song in the music streaming service’s queue, or in Alan Walker’s case, during a Main Stage set at Ultra Music Festival.

Walker appeared to have been using the ad supported free version of Spotify during his March 24 set at Ultra 20, but fans can rest assured that the set’s inclusion of the Spotify ad was both intentional and in jest. “That was a specific edit that Alan had prepared,” said a spokesperson for Walker, “it was meant to be a funny and sarcastic poke at people who say DJs just press ‘play.’”

Viewers of Walker’s March 24 set at Ultra 20 can skip ahead to the 5:40 mark to watch Walker effectively build crowd anticipation for an ensuing and thunderous drop, only to troll the crowd via a soundbite of “Johnathan” from Spotify’s voice at the point of the track’s drop (6:12). Close watchers will note that the lighting and stage effects remain in sync with the soundbite, further solidifying the the clip’s intentional angle.