Miami, FLA. -- Ultra Music Festival has only just begun in Miami, kicking off three days of dance music under the hot Florida sun. Fans gathered at the gates in anticipation, and as 4 p.m. got closer, chants got louder, butts got bouncier and backs got sweatier. As the doors opened, there was a stream of flower crowns and national flags flowing into the grounds.
As music lovers whizzed by, I tried to keep count of all the countries being repped by everyone wrapping themselves in flags. One kid told me there were 109 countries represented by attendees last year. One hundred nine? Sounds like a challenge. I want to find them all.
So, on a quest to find all the different kinds of flags I could find, here are all the fun international folks I met in the first hour of Ultra:
First off, it is HOT at Ultra, let me tell you. Courtney and Samantha from Croatia used their flag to shield themselves from the sun.
I caught Kamil and Pavel from Czech Republic paling around. You quickly learn that everyone is friends here.
Leonardo from Argentina found shade under a tree. Good call, Leo.
Shane told me this is the better Australian flag -- not the ol' red white and blue one.
It took me a while to get this picture with Gustavo and Melvin from Guatemala because other Guatemalans kept stopping to talk to them!
These dudes were nuts! Christian and Christoffer from Norway could only stop dancing for the second it took to snap this photo.
Jean-Michel from Ecuador was pretty stylish in his shades.
Here's Tim from the Bahamas. After a while, I realized I was very behind on my flag recognition skills. I should've paid more attention in school.
Nilson and Vincent brought a Virgin Islands flag because their parents are from there, but they're actually from the Netherlands.
I had no idea Chicago even had a flag like this. But Pablo did.
Bakermat was in the middle of his set when I caught Martin and Nathan from Norway. I couldn't resist though.
Look at Tuan and Marvin from Guam cheesin'.
Jose (with the hair) had a flag too. I don't really remember what it was.
Jani cuddled up in his Slovenian flag. After a while, I couldn't keep track of which countries I had already found!
Oliver from Switzerland was just chillin' watching Marcus Schossow's set.
I think I promised these guys I'd follow them on Facebook. Here's Mika, Yuto and Ryota from Japan.
More people from Norway --Jennifer, Anders, Roy-Kristian and Lars. Who knew Norway had such a stake in Ultra?
Who needs pants when you have flags? Daniel and Eric from Brazil wore 'em as skirts.
Nicolas and Manuel represented Colombia with their crew.
Joel came out all the way from California. Way tubular.
David from Guatemala and Maria from Peru wore their flags like capes.
Bran van den boom from St. Lucia and Devon O'Garra from the Netherlands. Pretty sure they gave me fake names. Whatevs.
Work it, Gianfranco from Peru.
Eduardo and Jorge from Chile were all smiles even though it was hot as f--k out.
Oh look! Some Americans! Kelly and Jeremy from the U.S.
Bucket hat, shades, flag. A complete look from Marlon from Jamaica.
Are you cold, Jonathan from Colombia. How are you draping yourself in that?!
Guillaume from Belgium had a little outline of Florida drawn on his flag with a message from his friends. He wouldn't let me read it though.
Macklemore, is that you? Nope, it's Tim from Sweden.
C'mon, guys. Don't try to play it cool. Rene and Frederico from Portugal.
Jimmy from Mexico. He kind of looks like my friend Kyle. Just sayin'.
Damian from Poland was so smooth, but I was fading. I was starting to think I'd never find all the countries at Ultra.
Matt from Canada was free. And brave. And I was roasting.
Adam from Australia wrapped up my first hour at Ultra. May I make many, many more international friends in the next few days. After I hit up some air-conditioning, of course.