Not every rough cut work-in-progress played on a tour bus actually sees the light of day. But when Sandro Cavazza played Avicii an early version of something that he was working while the two were en route to Bayfront Park for Ultra Music Festival in 2016, Avicii heard something special and converted Cavazza’s draft just before he took the main stage in Miami. Almost four years after the ID’s debut, “Forever Yours,” which was one of ten new productions that Avicii debuted that night, has now officially received its shining moment.
Shortly after Avicii’s death in 2018, Sandro Cavazza expressed that idea of completing the Avicii co-venture, but only if he found the proper producer to do so. He found that match in Kygo, whom he had previously worked with a few months following the loss of Avicii on “Happy Now.” Says Cavazza,
“This version of ‘Forever Yours’ is a tribute to Tim that me and Kygo have put together to honor what he has meant to both of us. The music we made together has changed my life and my perspective of music. He was Kygo’s biggest Idol and biggest inspiration and that’s what has made this tribute possible.”
In a behind the scenes video of how this tribute version exactly came about, Kygo explained that collaborating with Avicii was always a dream of his, so “Forever Yours” is an endearing compromise for famed tropical house producer. While this rendition may not have resulted in a note-for-note copy of the unfinished 2016 demo, Kygo and Cavazza manage to maintain the original’s genuine, sincere essence.
All proceeds from the release of “Forever Now” will be donated to the Tim Bergling Foundation in support of mental health awareness.
In September 2019, Ultra Music Festival released a promo trailer, revealing the festival’s upcoming “We Return Home” theme for a highly anticipated 2020 edition of the event. The motif stems from a hard-fought battle with the city of Miami to return to the event’s beloved home venue of Bayfront Park, following a disastrous showing in 2019 at Virginia Key Beach Park. The trailer came before the 2020 lineup was revealed, soundtracked by Martin Garrix‘s “Home” as the backdrop.
Now, fans not only know about Garrix’s headline DJ set, but its been announced that his imprint STMPD RCRDS is back for a second year taking over the UMF Radio Stage.
This year’s highly anticipated edition of Ultra Europe will see the event brand’s return to Split, Croatia July 10-12. They’ve just unveiled the first arm of their 2020 artist ticket, and it’s clear UMF Europe means business.
Featuring some familiar faces from Ultra’s debut Abu Dhabi edition that was recently released, the genre-diverse roster includes DJ Snake, Afrojack, and Marshmello. Also present on the lineup is a rare, ultra-coveted sighting of the three original drum n bass dons of Pendulum. Plus everyone’s favorite cake boss, Dim Mak’s Steve Aoki. Ultra Europe’s commitment to consistently executing lineups full of chart-topping superstars is illustrated indisputably in its history, which includes additions like Hardwell, Above & Beyond, and Avicii, for starters. Knowing this, high hopes for the festival’s second wave are well warranted.
For tickets and the full phase 1 lineup head here.
As one of the most widely recognized electronic music festival brands on Earth, Ultra‘s events have spread from their Miami origins to the likes of Europe, Australia, China, South Korea, and more, not to mention their successful Ibiza-vibe Resistance events that take place all year long around the globe. As 2020 quickly approaches, Ultra has officially released a stacked lineup for their inaugural Abu Dhabi edition.
Phase one of the lineup includes Ultra veterans Afrojack, Alesso, Dash Berlin, Nicky Romero, and Zedd, among others. Also to make an appearance are DJ Snake and Major Lazer, creating a genre-diverse lineup suitable for fans of all kinds. With this being Ultra’s Abu Dhabi debut, they’re certain to have secured a lineup of massive proportions, and the event’s production value is sure to match suit.
Since its foundation dating back to April of 2010, Revealed Recordings has been the indisputable dance music trailblazer when the conversation turns to the champion bigroom housings. In celebration of an entire decade as a pristine powerhouse imprint, Hardwell is officially set to play host during the 2020 iteration of Ultra Music Festival. He’s formally announced that the Revealed Recordings family will find a home within the UMF Radio stage for the label’s third overall touch down at the hallowed festival following appearances in both 2016 and 2018.
The conversation can’t end there, though, as the most mouth-watering piece of this puzzle rests in the hands of Hardwell, who still remains in the midst of his DJ hiatus. The label boss himself has notoriously conjured up some of his most historic moments as an Ultra mainstage resident throughout the festival’s existence and with his entire Dutch family by his side. It could present itself as an opportune moment for a reclamation of the bigroom DJ throne.
Now that Ultra Music Festival has confirmed its return back to Bayfront after its 2019 outing to Virginia Key Beach Park, the festival has started to drop 2020 festival news, heightening the excitement for the festival’s return. In September, Ultra unveiled its 2020 promotional theme, “We Return Home,” and now organizers have announced that for the first time, NGHTMRE and SLANDER‘s label Gud Vibrations will takeover the UMF Radio Stage.
NGHTMRE and SLANDER have played Gud Vibrations shows together at Ultra festivals across the world, but this will be the first time the label will take over a stage at the Miami iteration of the festival series. In Ultra’s announcement of the label takeover, they promise the stage will showcase “high-energy bass.”
It has yet to be seen whether NGHTMRE and SLANDER will perform as separate acts on the Gud Vibrations stage, together, or whether they will do both a separate and joint performance to celebrate their label’s takeover. Gud Vibrations has curated some of the scene’s best bass music as of late, including enlisting Habstrakt for his label debut with “De La Street.” WAVEDASH and Shadient are other frequenters of the label. Time will tell which acts will be featured on the stage, but the announcement certainly builds the anticipation for Ultra’s forthcoming lineup announcements.
Ultra’s first foray into Australian territory took place during its Road To Ultra series in 2018. The following year, the megafestival officially touched down in Sydney and Melbourne. Its debut run down under proved an overwhelming success, setting up its return for March 2020. Now, the first wave of artists for both Sydney and Melbourne have been revealed.
Eric Prydz will be performing twice at each event, once as himself and once under his darker Cirez D alias. The progressive house leader recently announced he’d be honoring his deceased superfan, James Lillo, in taking his ashes along with him for the journey. Lillo passed away from cancer not long after his diagnosis in 2016, inspiring Prydz to name a song after him.
Other talents making up Ultra Australia’s first phase billing include veterans DJ Snake, Zedd, Afrojack, and Dash Berlin, along with some house and techno representation from UMEK, Luciano, and Deborah De Luca. Tickets are available here.
Ultra Music Festival gears up to make its seventh trip to Africa as the global party brand announces its Phase 1 lineup of Ultra South Africa for next year. The two-day event first touches down in Cape Town, before heading to Johannesburg a day later. The dance brand gargantuan’s South African arm arrives with a lineup that, even in its first phase, offers something for everyone—supplementing the boisterous mainstage acts with talent that brings a bounty of techno and deep house nuance, too.
Ultra South Africa Phase 1 Lineup (in alphabetical order)
In its nascent operating years, Ultra has quickly become Africa’s largest music festival, this year amassing over 50,000 people across its two-day stretch. Ultra’s worldwide expansion now features over 20 global stops, including Bali, Singapore, and Chile, just to name a few.
The global expansion of Ultra Music Festival will continue in 2020 with an extensive tour that will see the renowned event travel to new parts of the world, as well as previous locations with a brand new look and feel.
For the first time ever, Ultra will land in the Middle East for Ultra Abu Dhabi on March 5-6, 2020. The oceanfront setting of this luxury vacation destination will be a return to the familiar for the festival that has held its flagship festival on the beaches of Miami for over two decades. More details surrounding this inaugural event will be available soon on ultra-abudhabi.com.
Immediately following Abu-Dhabi, Ultra returns to India after a three-year hiatus for Ultra India: Hyderabad & New Delhi on March 7-8, 2020. Back in 2017, Ultra hosted the first two performances of The Chainsmokers in India. One in Mumbai and the other in New Delhi. Now, they will add another stamp to their extensive passport with their first-ever event in Hyderabad.
These tour stops on the continent of Asia represent only a fraction of what’s coming up for Ultra Worldwide next year. The festival will return to Africa for events in Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as Australia for Sydney and Melbourne. View the graphic below for the full tour schedule and note that it only covers February and March. Keep your eyes on Dancing Astronaut for more intercontinental iterations of Ultra Music Festival.
Grabbitz and NGHTMRE have teamed up for the first time with new Ultra Music release, “Bruises.” Grabbitz lends not only his production skills to the track, but also a compelling vocal line that he has dubbed one of his most “challenging vocal performances to date.”
A vocal-led introduction paired with an instrumental-paved pathway guides Grabbitz’s singing before yielding to an unrelenting bass drop. The crux of the tune overtakes the listener’s conscious thanks to punching melody fused with a searing bassline, giving the track versatility for both live performance and radio play. Indie elements fuse with a future bass foreground, giving both producers’ fanbases something to agree on in “Bruises.”
Grabbitz elaborates on this theme in an official release, stating, “There is just something special about ‘Bruises.’ It’s tough to pinpoint, but the raw emotion and high energy came together just right. It’s the perfect blend of our styles.”