Ultra Music Festival Day 2

AVICII

Day 2 of Ultra Musical Festival kicked off at mid-day for a full 12 hours of EDM magic. Again, as soon as the gates opened, there was a gigantic influx of people into Bayfront Park.

Being that Ultra is a festival of massive proportions, we started our day off by interviewing two guys from Colorado that know a thing or two about size (we know how that sounds), Big Gigantic.

After our interview we made our way through the big, gigantic crowd of people and headed for the main stage. The crowds stretched as far as the eye could see (and sometimes well beyond). Standing, sitting, laying, and tree climbing, the people occupied every free space of Bayfront Park real estate. Many fans displayed flags from their native country of state. It was truly a sight to behold.

We caught the very end of Hardwell’s set and it was just enough to make us wish we’d heard more. Up next was Erick Morillo and the man from Miami threw it down for his hometown. Ciara made a cameo on stage with Morillo and rocked some sweet live vocals.

Ciara

The crowd rocked it out. We even saw many security guards and EMT’s head-bobbing along to the bumping bass.

About an hour later it was time for another one of our favorites to take over the decks on the Main Stage so we stayed put for Laidback Luke. After checking him out at the Mixmash pool party a few days before we knew what to expect. Laidback Luke hit the ground running, flashing his double-L hand signal to the close to 100,000 strong who raged along to every track.

Laidback Luke

Duck Sauce was next to hit the Main Stage but we were unable to stick around as we had standing appointment to interview one of EDM’s biggest names (and nicest people), Bassnectar.

Bassnectar

Here’s what he had to say:

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “Bassnectar”?

Bassnectar: A friend of mine, Steve, and I feel like it represents the ultimate heaviness with the ultimate sweetness…so I felt like it would be a good band name.

IP: You’ve played festivals all over the country but with close to 200,000 people here, is this the biggest festival you’ve ever been a part of?

BN: It’s really hard to gauge, we’ve played a lot of big ones, and with it being spread out over so many stages…but yeah this is a fucking massive one. 200,000 is a massive number.

IP: What can bassheads expect from your album “Va Va Voom” which drops on April 10th?

BN: I prefer them not to expect anything, just to know that I had a lot of fun making it, and that it’s meant to be a collection of diverse tracks. So, there’s something for everyone. There’s some down-tempo, some up tempo, some freak tempo…so yeah, we’ll see what they think.

IP: What other acts are you most excited to see at this year’s Ultra Musical Festival?

BN: Mostly I just like to hang out with my friends. I’m really excited to see Zeds Dead, Skrillex, Big Gigantic, Pretty Lights, Chase & Status…there’s a lot of really good acts.

IP: We’re based in Philadelphia and you’re set to headline Bass Center V in Philly on April 20th. What can fans expect from you that have never had the chance to see you perform live?

BN: They can expect a human being to play his fucking heart out. And they can expect to be in a room full of very enthusiastic and excited people.

IP: Would you like to give a shout out to your fans in Philadelphia before the show?

BN: Yes, but I feel like if I shouted I would distort the microphone here, so I’ll just tell everyone in Philadelphia, we’re fucking ready for you, and we can’t wait to see you!

IP: What else do you have on tap for 2012 that you’re most excited about?

BN: I just left home this week for tour and I’m not going to be back til July so we just have straight fucking tour. Then I have two weeks off in July and then I’m on tour again until New Year’s. So it’s just going to be pretty fucking bonkers.

IP: You’re very well known for being passionate, outspoken, and charitable for a bunch of causes, would you like to plug any of them right now?

BN: There’s something I’m working on that doesn’t have a name yet. It’s with an organization called “Reachout.org” that essentially started as a suicide hotline for youth culture and expanded to be a system of helping people make better lives for themselves. And I want to start an online source of free advice that is similar to Wikipedia, but it’s about advice instead of information, and is basically for high school and college aged people to try to get answers on tough questions that they’re having trouble getting answered.

IP: That’s a fabulous idea.

BN: Thanks, we’ll see how it works.

IP: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise, or even shock our readers…

BN: I am a very gentle person but I was just offered a six month personal training in Ju Jitsu by Eddie Bravo and I’m debating taking it. I don’t know when but we’ll see.

We thoroughly enjoyed our chat with Bassnectar. By the time it was over the sun was setting and that meant one thing… the glow gear was about to come out. 160,000+ people, most of who are sporting some item that glows or lights up is quite a spectacle. There was a huge crowd waiting at the Live Stage to see M83 when we got there. They were supposed to take the stage at 8pm but due to technical problems, their set was delayed for almost an hour. This was one of the only times we heard people booing over the course of three days at Ultra.

M83
M83

When M83 did take the stage, they apologized to fans and played just two songs (not their choice, there was a tight schedule to keep on each stage) including their stand alone hit “Midnight City”.

M83
M83

The delay forced us to miss much of Fatboy Slim’s set on the Main Stage that was evidently one of the best of the entire festival. Bummer. We did manage to catch the tail end of it and then stuck around to see Justice whom we’d interviewed and covered in Philly earlier in the week. Seeing them twice in one week was more than a treat.

We were dying to see 2manydj’s on the Live Stage at 11pm but stuck around the Main Stage to catch the beginning of Avicii as there were rumblings of a big surprise. The surprise (as the world knows now) was a the superstar DJ being introduced by Madonna who then joined him on-stage for some guest vocals.

Madonna, whose new album is titled “MDNA”, greeting the crowd by asking “How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?” Molly is a commonly used slang term for MDMA, the active chemical in ecstasy. Cheers erupted from the sea of fans but the whole thing seemed pretty pathetic. Madonna, who is now 53 years old, shouldn’t be condoning drug use to a crowd filled with young people. Sure, people are going to do drugs at EDM events, rock concerts, and everywhere in between but a 53 year old with a teenage daughter doesn’t need to be hyping it. We’re not saying she needs to denounce it either, just that she should have had a little more class in this case.

The comment soon fell by the wayside as Avicii’s headlining set whipped fans into a frenzy (later it became an internet sensation after Deadmau5 blasted Madonna online for being “a fucking idiot”). More cheers erupted from the crowd when Afrojack and Skrillex appeared in the DJ booth alongside Avicii. After a few minutes of Avicii we headed back over to the Live Stage for 2manydjs and then ducked out of Bayfront Park just before midnight (when Day 2 ended).

Afrojack, Skrillex, and Avicii

You can check out a full photo gallery from Ultra Music Festival Day 2 below:

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Independent Coverage from the City of Independence

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