When it comes to the top EDM festivals in the U.S., Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival are by far the most prolific. The annual 3-day festivals both host the top artists in electronic music and attract fans from across the world. EDC spent its 3rd year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2013 from 6/21-6/23. Ultra 2014 will be held for the 16th year in Miami from 3/28-3/30.
EDC 2013 in Las Vegas sold over 345,000 tickets, expanding what was already the largest music festival in North America. Now that the EDM community has had almost a month to recover from Sin City, it’s time to look 8 months ahead to Ultra. We take a look at how EDC and Ultra compare and what to expect for Ultra 2014.
In 2013, Ultra briefly experimented with a two-weekend format, before switching back to one weekend for 2014. The last one-weekend Ultra in 2012 sold about 175,000 tickets. While attendance is likely to increase in 2014, it will need to double to surpass EDC. Alejandra Loera of OC Weekly recognizes EDC’s advantage in size and venue, but gives points to Ultra for the diversity of its lineup and its plethora of parties.
In 2013, EDC made improvements with an expanded main stage, extra carnival attractions, and the introduction of the “Basscon” stage. A full camera crew was also present, recording the festival for an upcoming documentary, EDC 2013: You Are The Headliner. Expect to see new and improved features coming to Miami in March as well. In defending higher ticket prices, festival organizers promised “ground breaking stage productions” and vaguely teased the announcement of “exciting new developments” in the coming months.
In May, tickets for the early bird and advanced sales for Ultra 2014 sold out within 20 minutes of being released. All-weekend passes for Friday to Sunday are now starting at $448, down $34 in the last month. In June, Ultra Europe held its first festival in Croatia from 6/12-6/14. With over 100,000 in attendance, it was the largest festival in the country’s history and figures to return in 2014. Ultra also holds festivals in Spain, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, and Chile.