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The Ultra Music Festival Survival Guide

Just trust us. We don't want you to die down there either.

Festival season is almost here, and THUMP has teamed up with 7UP to help you plan your party perfectly. Our 7x7 guides will let you know the best DJs, the hottest stages, the insider info, and pro tips from the biggest events in North America. Plus, 7UP is launching a bunch of special extras to make your festival experience even better. Read about what's bubbling up here or at 7UP.

These days the growing number of festivals is becoming hard to keep up with. It seems like year after year more festivals emerge, along with bigger lineups, bigger stages and more elements that festivalgoers need to prepare for. Whether it's unpredictable weather, overwhelming crowd sizes or the always terrifying conflicting set times—you need to be ready for anything.


Ultra is one of the longest running festivals around and their organization is widely respected, but that's not to say you shouldn't be thinking about how you need to prepare for the best experience possible. So whether you're a festival Jedi who's logged hundreds of hours from Burning Man to Lolla, or a paddawon newbie who's only been to the local state fair, you can benefit from reading this Ultra Music Festival survival guide. Just take our word for it.


This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but there's little you can do at music festivals that's more important than hydrating. You will be on your (dancing) feet for 11+ hours under the blazing Miami sun and needless to say—you're going to be sweating like Justin Bieber at a routine traffic-stop. The best thing you can do to prolong that booty shaking is guzzle down as much H20 as possible. But who wants to hold a bunch of water bottles while trying to throw down an award-winning twerk performance? Take our advice and go to your local camping store or sporting outlet to pick up a fresh Camelbak. If you frequent the music festival scene this thing will change your life. They come in cool colors, hold enough water to satisfy an elephant and have little pockets for all your knick-knacks.

The average set time at Ultra ranges from one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes, so you just need to pin down what sets you want to witness in their entirety versus who you'd be happy just hearing a few tracks from. If you're looking to see as much music as physically possible, we recommend bouncing between stages like the Energizer bunny. Also, if you want to be super organized for maximum awesomeness, it's usually a good idea to craft up your own custom schedule including who you want to see and where they're playing, before the festival.



Everyone's been there so this shouldn't need much of an introduction. There are few things worse then finding yourself at a music festival amidst a crowd of thousands with a phone on zero battery. You can't post things to Instagram, Facetime with your grandma during Tiësto's headline set or find your friends who probably got separated during one of Skrillex's crowd surfs. Luckily, in today's world of advanced technological innovation, there are ways to avoid his situation. One option is to get one of those awesome Mophie packs that act as a backup battery for iPhones. If you're one of those Android users, just carry some extra batteries. A third option is to check out 7UP's charging station in the EcoVillage, which offers charging stations that are compatible with up to 15 different devices. They'll also have Wi-Fi and a refreshing misting system that will cool you down, while your technology charges up. Score!


One of the great things about Miami is that it offers a transportation system called the Metromover and it's totally free! But, like most things that are free, there's somewhat of a catch. The Metromover closes at 1AM, an hour or so after the last beat is dropped on the mainstage of the festival. Yes, that means you have around 25,000 people attempting to get on a small train that fits about ten percent of them. Needless to say, the station, train, and surrounding area is a total scene and if you plan on using this as your means of transportation—you better be prepared. Our advice, swallow your pride and leave a mere five minutes before the end of the festival. You'll thank us later.


When you're going to a music festival of this size, you have to understand that people attend for different reasons. Not everyone's Ultra experience will be exactly like your own. People have different musical tastes, different dance moves, a wide-ranging spectrum of fashion choices and, of course, their own opinion on whether Armin, Avicii or Carl Cox is the true messiah. Ultra is a celebration of dance music and a place where everyone should feel accepted and free to express themselves. The most important piece of advice we can gift you all is this: Be nice and have fun. Just remember, if you're going to hug any giant oak trees—makes sure no one is watching.