Fans flock to Miami for electronic dance music festival

Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:02am EDT
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By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - When it was launched more than a decade ago the Ultra Music Festival was a low budget, one-day affair for a few thousand electronic dance music fans.

It has since grown into a massive, two weekend-long party expected to attract 300,000 participants from around the globe paying $300 for a three-day pass.

The lineup of the festival, which opened on Friday afternoon, includes dozens of the world's top DJs, including David Guetta, deadmau5, and Swedish House Mafia, some who are paid tens of thousands of dollars to play for as little as an hour.

Electronic dance music, known as EDM, has become one of the world's most popular genres as DJs and pop artists collaborate, drawing massive crowds to live shows as well as the attention of investors and companies eager to tap into its money-making potential.

It coincides with the annual Winter Music Conference, an EDM industry gathering of DJs, producers and concert promoters, for a weekend of seminars and pool parties. The two events create one of the world's largest dance music gatherings.

An economic impact report commissioned by Ultra's organizers claimed it supported nearly 1,000 jobs and injected $79 million into the Miami economy.


Ultra in recent years has also launched several satellite festivals around the world, including ones in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.   Continued...

A crowd moves to the beat of electronic music during the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park in Miami March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Gaston De Cardenas