With Ultra Miami 2016 in the books, and enough time to process what we witnessed, we look to see what we can take away from Pendulums long awaited return. The 6 piece electronic and D&B band made its first appearance on stage since 2012. The performance itself was undoubtedly one of the greatest closing performances to ever occur on the Ultra main stage. Oddly enough, however, some attendees thought otherwise, which lead us to look further into the performance and what we may be able to learn from it.
In order to understand why some people may have felt cheated from a bigger closing act, we must first look at the event itself. Taking place is Miami each year during the Winter Music Conference, Ultra attracts over 100,000 attendees each year. The festivals boasts one of the biggest lineups, featuring the biggest names in electronic music with outrageous stage production to match. Ultra marks the start of the “Festival Season,” and usually includes artists debuting new music, setting the tone for upcoming summer tours. Ultra is easily one of the most recognized EDM festivals in the US (next to EDC Las Vegas), however it tends to draw a slightly different crowd.
With the hype leading up to Ultra during the WMC, Miami becomes the epicenter of dance music and party central. Ultra’s crowd certainly has a much more amped up, party feel in comparison to others. This isn’t a bad thing, or the case for all who attend Ultra. It does allow us to better understand what may be a divide in the dance music world. Better put, why a live performance on the main stage at Ultra took so many people by surprise.
The performance began with the typical format most people have come to recognize, with 1 or 2 people behind the DJ booth dropping track after track. What seems to almost be recipe for any EDM festival, the duo had the crowd in their total control. The divide, however, began after a brief pause in their set, as the full band took stage and were no long playing CDJs, but instruments. The obvious confusion came through first on social media with fans wondering why the live feed cut from the main stage to the “Live Stage.” Many people felt it was an error, but ironically the same people they wanted to see were still on stage, just outside the typical format they’re learned to expect.