Road Trip: Miami's Ultra Music Festival, Day 1

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Yes, the Ultra Music Festival lives up to its rep as a sea of dancing glow sticks, billowing from five stages, intense, trans-like energy and festivalgoers clad in metallic, platforms and fishnets. But the fest also welcomes and represents most every walk and lifestyle from all over the world. A melting pot exploiting new trends and wanting to accept all … as long as you’re willing to except them back.

This is people-watching paradises. But don’t let the guy in the full body makeup and spikes detour you. All he wants is a little admiration for his creativity and maybe a good pat on the back. Relax and let the tranquil thuds of bass and synthesizer coax you to move a bit and rejoice in the fact that — by any means necessary — anything goes.

Ultra No. 11 is branching out this year, with stages featuring live instrumental acts like Brit dance-rockers the Whip. Also outside the DJ stratosphere is Santogold — an R&B-influenced singer who also toys with new-wave synth sounds. Her obvious love for the crowd resulted in ear-to-ear smiles and high-fives. Also a nice touch: the melancholy dancers transfixed on either side of her, complete with robotic choreography and shades.

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