Culture + Style

How to Survive Miami’s Ultra Music Festival

Attending the world’s largest electronic music festival on Miami’s Bayfront is truly a spectacle. (Photo: Courtesy of Ultra Music Festival)

The first rule for surviving Miami’s annual Ultra Music Festival is simple: play it safe and smart, no matter how immune to troubles you think you might be. Unless you are wearing rainbow-glitter body paint and love overheating in large swarms of people — trust us on this one. The world’s largest electronic music festival is held each March along Miami’s Bayfront, and with each passing festival surprising numbers of incidents occur — most of which can be avoided by taking care and following some simple guidelines.

If you find yourself in the 305 during the festival, and you enjoy mingling with folks who look like they got lost on the way to ComicCon, or might be mistaken for a furry or Brony (look it up), then we do have a few suggestions for surviving the festival.

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Navigating the festival can be tricky; be prepared for anything to happen. (Photo: Alamy)

Bring ID

Thousand of people from around the globe descend on Miami to attend Ultra, and 2015 marked the first year that the festival was only open to those 18 and older. This means you best be ready to pony up your ID, and have it scanned by security at the festival gate. Valid IDs include state-issued IDs or driver’s license, a valid passport, military ID, Native American ID, and Canadian ID. Foreigners can bring their passport, or use an ID issued by their home country along with a copy of their passport.

Carry Toilet Paper (or Baby Wipes)

When you gotta go, you gotta go, even if that means using grotty port-a-potties. With thousands of others hitting the loo, chances are, they’re going to run short on TP. Bring your own, though baby wipes work fine, too.

Ditto, Hand Sanitizer

See entry above, re: toilet paper.

ultra music festival crowd
Dehydration is one of the most common incidents to affect attendees; drink your water! (Photo: Courtesy of Ultra Music Festival)

Drink Your Water

OMG, do NOT dehydrate at Ultra. That’s a surefire way to ruin a perfectly good music festival. Drink oodles of water while you’re out there sweating and dancing like no one’s watching in the super-hot Florida sun.

Use Sunscreen and Lip Balm

While you’re busy not dehydrating and guzzling agua, stop to apply sunscreen in lip balm. Sunburn is no fun, you guys.

Carry Clear Bags

If you plan to bring any personal items into the festival, forget shoving them in your Rainbow Brite purse. Any bag you bring into the festival must be clear. This includes clear plastic, PVC, or vinyl bags. Also, keep your cell phone in a clear ziploc bag — you never know when it’s gonna rain, or someone blasts you with their drink.

Sneakers and Bandages

Ultra might be the one place in Miami where women eschew stiletto heels. Every good festival-goer knows, you’re on your feet All. Day. Long. Stay comfortable. On the off chance you do get a blister, you’ll want to have some bandaids or other bandages on hand.

Bring Earplugs

You’ll still hear everything. Trust us. Ultra is l-o-u-d. Protect yo’ hearing.

Keep an Eye Out for Orange Shirts

The folks in orange shirts that read “Mission Control” aren’t cops. They’re here to help you, whether than means pointing you toward bathrooms, security, or first aid.

Finally…The Following Items Are Forbidden

  • Weapons
  • Drugs
  • Food and drinks
  • Flammable items or liquids
  • Chains
  • Professional camera or audio recording equipment
  • Stuffed animals
  • Real animals
  • Facial masks
  • Opened packs of tampons or cigarettes (closed ones are fine)
  • Pacifiers
  • Glow sticks
  • Balloons, balls and Frisbees
  • Water guns, squirt guns or spray bottles
  • Bicycles, skateboards or scooters
  • Umbrellas — bring a poncho instead
  • Chairs, blankets, sleeping bags or tents
  • Musical instruments or whistles
  • Laser pens
  • Poles
  • Opened medication

This post originally appeared on Miamicito.com.