Ultra Music Festival Makes its Debut in the Middle East

Two-day event in Abu Dhabi will be prefaced by electronic music conference

While Ultra prepares for its 22nd edition in Miami, the globally touring music festival is also making in-roads into new territories for the first time next month. The Ultra Music Festival juggernaut makes its debut in the Middle East with a two-day event at du Arena, Abu Dhabi, on 5 and 6 March, just weeks before the mega-fest returns to its Bayfront Park site in Miami.


Naturally, the main stage at the du Arena, on Yas Island, will boast a selection of fist-pumping, pyro-loving headliners (think Afrojack, Alesso, Nicky Romero) so we say body-swerve that and head to the Resistance stage where you’ll find Luciano, Eats Everything, Seth Troxler and Nic Fanciulli. It’s the back-to-back set from Sasha and John Digweed that’s got us most excited though.

Part of Abu Dhabi Music Week, Ultra’s touchdown in the emirate is preceded by the DJmag Middle East Conference on 3 and 4 March, at W Hotel, Yas Island. Two days of workshops, panels, masterclasses and demo drops, the inaugural conference aims to “connect and expand on the growing demands of electronic music in the Middle East”. Local and international music industry professionals will share their thoughts on topics such as ‘Knowing What’s Hot in the Middle East’, ‘The Golden Plan Behind the World’s Best Clubs’, ‘So, You’re an Artist?’ and ‘The Perfect Show’.


Long-time press manager for Carl Cox in the US and managing partner of artist consultancy and brand incubator United.House, Sara Cooper is flying in from California to moderate a panel. “It will be my first time in the Middle East and I’m excited to experience the electronic music scene in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” said Sara. “I’m particularly keen to learn more from those who live in the UAE with first-hand experience of how the scene operates there.”


Just weeks later, Ultra Miami is back at Bayfront Park from 20 – 22 March. Chief amongst the names to catch there are Carl Cox and Jamie Jones, who play back-to-back for the first time ever, with Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber and Paco Osuna also slated to perform next to Minus man Richie Hawtin.


As well as some original house sounds from Roger Sanchez and Grammy award-winning producer Flume – who will headline with a new live set – debut sets also come from Fisher and Belgian techno talent Amelie Lens.


Carl Cox’s Resistance Megastructure, which debuted in 2005, will span all three days of the Miami festival, while Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance stage marks 10 years with some extra special plans.


Head to the Ultra website for festival tickets and find more info about the DJmag Middle East Conference here.

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