MIAMI — On its third and final day, the Ultra Music Festival delivered a blazing one-two punch of trance and house star power for the 50,000 fans in attendance on closing day of the annual get-together held at Bicentennial Park.
The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am joined an impressive roster of house-music performers that included Laidback Luke, Steve Aoki, Erick Morillo, Robbie Rivera , Wolfgang Gartner and David Guetta.
Dutch trance music star Armin van Buuren celebrated the 500th broadcast of his A State of Trance show, this time dubbed ASOT 500, in honor of the milestone. The show filled in the slot normally taken by Carl Cox’s stage on Friday and Saturday, and van Buuren brought some well-known trance-DJ friends like Cosmic Gate, Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten, ATB and the night’s closer, Sander Van Doorn, all of whom helped to pack a few thousand fans into the tent, chest to back, to capacity.
Just before 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, AVB joined friend/countryman/collaborator Corsten onstage. But a hug and a few jokes later and it was van Buuren’s turn to steer the ASOT 500 ship, and he throttled into his set. Van Buuren also held down hosting duties throughout the night, revealing in an on air-interview with ATB the pair have collaborated on a track titled “Vice Versa.”
On the main stage, Gartner didn’t just hit fans with hits like “Spacejunk,” “Illmerica,” and his deadmau5 collabo, “Animal Rights.” He also tested out a few new songs, including still-unreleased gems “818,” and his next single, the electro-house banger “Forever,” which features vocals by will.i.am.
Later, house legend Morillo blessed the crowd with three top-notch vocalists: Rachel Starr, former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta, and powerhouse singer Shawnee Taylor took turns joining him onstage. Fans sang along with Taylor as she belted the hits “Stronger” and “Live Your Life” among others. Finally, Diddy joined his buddy Morillo onstage, dropping his bars from Dirty South’s remix of Diddy-Dirty Money’s “Coming Home,” a Miami Music Week DJ-set staple.
David Guetta was feeling particularly electro-clubby. He hammered fans with hair-raising renditions of his material, kicking things off with “Gettin’ Over You,” and then a baritone horn-driven thumper of a tune that some fans may have heard days before at Mansion.
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am joined Guetta onstage at various points of the night, adding vocals to Guetta’s remixes of BEP hits “The Time,” and “I Gotta Feeling.” But probably the more unexpected cameo was Flo Rida, who showed up with an entourage of Super Soaker-wielding friends and charged onto the stage for the Guetta/Flo hit “Club Can’t Handle Me.”
Perhaps the most moving moment of the day came when rising star Afrojack joined Guetta and addressed the audience. “Miami, last year, I played here for the first time, through David,” Afrojack said. “I had a great time. David is all about the love. David, I love you. Miami, I love you. This guy is the f—ing sh–! So Miami, make some noise for David Guetta!”
Needless to say, the crowd seemed to agree with the 22-year-old Dutch phenom. They returned his request with a roar.
Did you attend Ultra Music Festival in Miami this year? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!