The Ultra Music Festival is internationally recognized for consistently delivering the sharpest, cutting edge productions year after year. With an impressive array of notable electronic dance music artists on its roster each time it’s hosted, it’s incredibly difficult to choose which sets to attend over others. No matter the time of day, there’s always someone crushing it on every stage at the festival.
The most fascinating aspect of Ultra Music Festival is that no matter where in the festival you reside or which stage you find yourself the most, you are bound to witness some of the most incredibly captivating performances from class acts. world. While it was hard to narrow down our favorite sets from the weekend to just five, there was something pretty special about these that we’re still excited about. Read on to relive our five favorite sets from Ultra Music Festival 2022.
Gareth Emery ASOT
Friday night marked a very special moment for trance fans who saw a veteran at heart, Gareth Emery, knocked down on the world stage when ASOT took over. Performing a sunset, fans were in absolute bliss for an entire hour as Emery shuffled through a slew of his classic hits like “U,” “Saving Light,” “Sanctuary” and “Concrete Angel” alongside his new hits like “You Ça ira” and “Because the night”. When it comes to mastering the art of a signature trance set, there is no one like Gareth who brings an exceptional energy whose crowd feeds from start to finish.Creating his sets perfectly to feature melodic and emotive moments, hard-hitting twists and deep, driving trance leads, Gareth had the ultimate ASOT set this year at Ultra.
One name that comes to mind when dance fans hear “Mainstage Festival” over and over again is Martin Garrix. Just the look of his name on a festival lineup brings a kind of energy that fans are really counting the days for. Taking the main stage on Friday, Martin Garrix swept Ultra on a can’t-miss classic high. Booming sound, signature tracks, new singles and a mayhem of lights and lasers defined Martin’s Ultra 2022 set, and he left the crowd of thousands on an unforgettable high. Launching his international hit songs like “High On Life”, “Animals”, “Virus”, “Scared To Be Lonely”, “Turn Up The Speakers”, and tons more, Martin locked down the main stage for an hour that we only wished could have lasted longer.
Carl Cox hybrid live
If you’re a UMF regular, you know that Carl Cox has played a huge role in the expansion and production of the festival over the years. UMF’s distinguished techno look wouldn’t be what it is today without it, and its RESISTANCE concept is one that has revolutionized the festival scene with its cutting-edge stage and production designs. This time around, Carl Cox closed his world-class Megastructure stage during each night of the festival, but the Saturday night start of his Hybrid Live performance concept was something else entirely.
Being in a crowd full of techno snobs playing hard-hitting synths always hits differently, especially during a strictly techno-infused Carl Cox set. Allow him the ability to interleave the mix across multiple CDJs and old-school analog devices simultaneously throughout the two-hour performance. No matter where you were in the crowd or who you bumped into, the vibes were simply unmatched and we could feel Carl’s magnetic energy radiating from the stage. They don’t call him the king of techno for nothing.
For those who have been following all things electronic dance music for years, you know the impact Knife Party had on the scene in the early 2010s. They are one of those artists who challenged the concept of genres and have created an all-encompassing sound unlike any other. Older ravers can barely remember the last time Knife Party held a performance before Ultra revealed they would be part of this year’s lineup, and we’re so glad we got to experience this comeback performance. once in a lifetime.
Everyone in the crowd was definitely a millennial or older, and we all collectively reminisced about the iconic duo’s old school bangers like “Internet Friends”, “Bonfire”, “Centipede”, and many more throughout the season. ‘whole. Being on the world stage is fascinating because it doesn’t matter who is performing, and Knife Party brought the perfect amount of electrifying energy to close out the enticing festival on Saturday night. We’re still not over their nostalgic performance.
After three long and diverse full days, the 2022 edition of the Ultra Live Stage came to a close with fan-favorite duo Slander. The guys literally brought the heat with a massive array of pyro booming offstage for the duration of their hour-long set. The intimate setting that this stage provides allowed the crowd to gather up close and really feel the energy and rhythms running through their bodies. As expected, Slander’s set was a beautiful mix of punchy bass lines and peaceful melodies topped with the beautiful “sadboi” vocals we all know and love. Being in that crowd was one where you really felt the love and connection with everyone around you, ending Ultra and Miami Music Week’s mighty comeback strong, together.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an official stage performance without brilliant talent on the decks and a surprise vocalist. Who else but Dylan Matthew has joined the guys for a significant part of the set, satisfying every fan wish for him to arrive. And he arrived, playing a beautiful white piano to sing their fiery track “First Time”, their new track with NGHTMRE “Fall Into Me” and not one but two versions of their mega hit collab “Love Is Gone”, the one who started it all. The crowd marveled at the emotive original and charming acoustic version, singing in unison under the glowing sky. The set ended with a colorful fireworks display to send off 2022 in festival style, and left the guests singing merrily into the night.
After what felt like an eternal five-year hiatus, dance music legend Hardwell made his highly anticipated return to the Ultra Miami main stage this past weekend. All we have to say is what an experience. UMF fans suspected Hardwell was the surprise guest closing out this planned 2022 edition, and once it was officially announced, it was game over for everyone involved.
The energy of every set at Ultra is unparalleled, but there was something uniquely remarkable about that indescribable Sunday night closing out of Hardwell on the main stage. Filled with a plethora of previously unreleased track IDs and an extraordinary, forward-looking “big room techno” sound, the hour-long set was simply out of this world. It was the kind of set we wish we could relive forever, and we’re thrilled to know the prodigious Dutch musician is back in the game. Hardwell, we’ve missed you. Thank you for capping off our well-deserved return to the Bayfront Ultra experience in the most magical way possible.