Ultra Festival may not be worth the cost anymore

Ashley Valentin/Staff


I love electronic dance music. My car is consistently blasting house beats and my neon Kaskade kandi bracelets dangle proudly from my jewelry stand.

Ultra Music Festival is an exciting time for people like me. I’ve been counting down the days for this year’s Ultra since last year’s Ultra. But when it came time for me to pay for my Weekend 1 pass, I almost passed up the festival.

The complaint on the street is that Ultra has been abusing their fees to get as much money as they can squeeze out of it’s attendees. Ticket prices have skyrocketed, food and drinks are overpriced, and Ultra has left ravers without the option of buying just a one day ticket- forcing people to dish out hundreds just to go for a Saturday.

“I do think that while they’ve milked it for every last penny this year, there’s a chance of this EDM craze dying. I’m not sure if people will still be willing to pay these prices in a year or two,” said senior Alex Rodriguez.

Sure, there’s production costs and the cost of flying in all of these big name artists to Miami, but the prices for a weekend at Ultra have increased from $150 to $200 to $300 to close to $400 this year if you include fees, and many of the artists haven’t changed. The price change is not necessary.

Electronic music festivals seem to be the festivals most guilty of these heavy price inflations as of late. Where a day at Vans Warped Tour watching big name bands play costs a mere $40, buying off a one day Ultra ticket from someone will easily cost you $150.

Ultra Music Festival, above anything else, is a business looking to make an extra buck, and their prices aren’t going to lower because there is a high demand for tickets.

Despite their scandalous ticket prices, people are still willing to dish out big money for their chance to see David Guetta live (hilariously, myself included).

Some are even going to extreme measures to see their favorite DJ.

“Someone traded me their MacBook Pro for my Ultra tickets,” said senior Bennett Bonta. “Quickest return on investment I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Many EDM lovers go these extremes because of the importance placed on the festival, however the same DJs who play at Ultra play in other venues in Miami, so often that we shouldn’t be so desperate to spend so much on tickets.

Despite the outrageous ticket prices and trades, Ultra was still amazing.

I enjoyed my weekend there. I danced with friends until my feet lost feeling and my ears didn’t stop ringing.

But for the price I paid, I’m not sure if it was worth it.

I don’t want to pay over $300 for three exhausting days of being pushed around in a crowd full of drugged up high schoolers, unable to get close to the stage, losing my friends between sets, and dividing my attention between two DJ’s I love playing at the same time on different stages. And if prices continue to rise, I might just spend next Ultra weekend at home shuffling to EDM tracks on my iPod with friends instead of fighting for room to dance in a sweaty crowd downtown.