Dancing Astronaut’s 10 can’t-miss sets during Ultra’s Bayfront Park homecoming

Dancing Astronaut’s 10 can’t-miss sets during Ultra’s Bayfront Park homecomingUntitled Design 21

Words by Ross Goldenberg and Zach Salafia

To say that we’re excited to be back at Ultra this March would genuinely be the understatement of a lifetime. It’s been three years since Ultra last happened in the United States and four years since Ultra last took place within the confines of its fan-favorite home of Bayfront Park. But while those time intervals mentally feel like a million times longer than they actually are, none of that is going to matter once the clock strikes March 25 and Ultra reintroduces itself to both downtown Miami and the festival circuit.

It goes without saying that Ultra’s 2022 poster is expectedly swarmed with a bank of dance music’s finest all the way from its top-line names down to its bottommost supporting acts, making for the ultimate struggle to have to choose between them once the set times are shared in the coming weeks. With just under three weeks until festival season formally reignites with Ultra’s long-awaited Bayfront Park homecoming, we’re taking this opportunity to spotlight 10 sets that we guarantee will be talked about in the days, weeks, months, and even years after we all make our way back home from Miami, including—in no particular order—FrostTop, Martin Garrix, Pendulum, Alison Wonderland, Alesso, William Black, John Summit, Madeon, ILLENIUM, and our prediction for who will stand behind the decks as Ultra’s undisclosed mainstage headliner on Sunday.


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Featured image: Riley Kubota

FrostTop

When: Saturday, March 26

Where: UMF Radio Stage

The fast-rising trap star from Southern California was named one of Dancing Astronaut’s Artists to Watch in 2022 for a reason. FrostTop has cemented himself as a regular on SLANDER and NGHTMRE’s Gud Vibrations through a flurry of singles like “BLOOD MOON” and “Dream State,” which would eventually land him a spot amongst the label’s rynoBUS art car takeover at EDC Las Vegas‘ 25th anniversary. Fast forward to 2022 and FrostTop will once again be featured on a Gud Vibrations stage takeover, this time going cross-country for an appearance at Ultra Music Festival’s UMF Radio Stage. The San Diego Waterboy is also currently sitting on one of our most-anticipated IDs of 2022 in the form of his ISOxo collaboration that we can only hope to hear under the Miami sun, and anyone looking for a dose of hard-hitting trap needs to make sure that they stop by his set to witness the genre’s next generation in action.

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Featured image: Louis van Baar

Martin Garrix

When: Friday, March 25

Where: Mainstage

The idea that Martin Garrix could potentially unseat what is arguably (but not really up for debate) his single greatest performance from Ultra 2016—where he debuted 10 total IDs—during his first set at Bayfront Park in five years is all that’s needed to warrant a spot for him on our must-see Ultra artists list. The STMPD RCRDS boss had already confirmed back in February that at least five IDs would make their way into his Ultra 2022 tracklist, including a more-than-likely appearance from his Zedd cross that the two have been constantly teasing since November as well as a newly minted reunion with Brooks. And although it remains to be seen what the other IDs Garrix plans to include—with Brooks’ EDC Las Vegas ID, a “Diamonds” follow-up with Julian Jordan, and a long-awaited meeting with Ryan Tedder serving as other potential candidates—there’s absolutely zero question that Garrix is about to lengthen his run of legendary Ultra sets once again.

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Featured image: Rukes

Pendulum

When: Friday, March 25

Where: Live stage (closer)

This March will commemorate six trips around the sun since Pendulum shut down Ultra 2016 with a Bayfront Park finale for the ages. The Pendulum-Knife Party split closing set is still considered one of Ultra’s most unforgettable closing appearances to date, and Rob Swire and company are finally reuniting with the Miami festival to do it all over again. This time, Pendulum will have a change of scenery and relocate to Ultra’s live stage, where they’ll assuredly play out their new Elemental EP—the band’s first body of work in a decade—as well as classics from their older work like Immersion and maybe even a taste of what’s to come musically in 2022.

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Featured image: Jack Bennett

Alison Wonderland

When: Friday, March 25

Where: Live stage

The artist behind the FMUOASL is truly about to fuck Bayfront Park up on a spiritual level with plenty of unreleased material from her recently finished and currently untitled junior album. Alison Wonderland‘s return to Ultra—six years after her Worldwide stage appearance—marks the the second stop of her perfectly named “I am not quite ready to share my album title or artwork yet” tour and should serve as everyone’s first true opportunity to preview her upcoming LP that will likely include her already released single “Fear Of Dying.” The multifaceted producer-vocalist’s inclusion on Ultra’s live stage leaves more than enough intrigue surrounding what exactly the Aussie could be whipping up with her live performance, but whatever Alison Wonderland has in store, be sure to be in attendance on Ultra’s first day to find out.

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Featured image: Rukes

Alesso

When: Friday, March 25

Where: Mainstage

It couldn’t truly be a list of Dancing Astronaut’s must-see Ultra sets without who else but Alesso. There’s countless explanations as to why his set is primed to walk away as one of the greatest from Ultra’s Bayfront Park homecoming later this March, but we’ll start with the first reason: “Rave All Night.” Alesso jumped into 2022 with back-to-back members on the countdown of our favorite unreleased IDs of the year—both the forenamed ID as well as his progressive house ID from Decadence Colorado—and the promise of hearing those two tracks combined with “Calling (Lose My Mind)”—which will have just celebrated its 10th birthday—as well as his edit of “Graveyard” and “Pressure,” “Somebody To Use,” and ideally a couple of never-before-heard cuts will all make for our Twitter to be a top-tier source of entertainment come the evening of March 25.

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Featured image: David H. Nguyen

William Black

When: Saturday, March 26

Where: UMF Radio Stage

There was perhaps no album in 2021 that was more consistently built than William Black’s Pieces. Each and every one of the 13 tracks spread across his sophomore LP—which earned a spot amongst Dancing Astronaut’s top electronic LPs of the year—shine brightly as a collective tracklist, while also maintaining tremendous reply value on their own. With standout cuts like Only One I Need” with HALIENE and Thomas Laurent as well as “Closer Than You” with one of our Artists to Watch in 2022 Amidy, Pieces truly stood above the rest as one of the best all-around projects of the last calendar year. To help hold you over until Ultra’s second day, relisten to sets like Black’s performance at EDC’s cosmicMEADOW, where he only further validates himself as a can’t-miss act when he hits the decks during Gud Vibrations’ UMF Radio Stage takeover.

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Featured image: Chris Lavado

John Summit

When: Saturday, March 26

Where: The Cove

John Summit being Dancing Astronaut’s 2021 Breakout Artist of the Year speaks for itself on why he’s a must-see name when Ultra returns to Bayfront Park. Summit will be among the first group of artists to ever play at The Cove, which is Ultra’s yet-to-be revealed Resistance structure—in place of Arcadia Spider—that will be planted where the UMF Radio Stage was previously held in years past. With a tracklist that will likely include “La Danza”—Summit’s first release of the year that’s set for March 11—unreleased reworks of Diplo and Miguel’s “Don’t Forget My Love” as well as The Weeknd’s “Sacrifice,” and—of course—some of the ten-plus releases from last year that built up his case to secure our breakout artist award, Summit’s set will follow in the footsteps of his neonGARDEN round at EDC Orlando, including “darker” tracks and “less vocals” to add to the reason that his set is the place to be on the afternoon of March 26.

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Featured image: Jasmine Safaeian

Madeon

When: Saturday, March 26

Where: Live stage

Thanks to the pandemic, we were unfortunately robbed of the opportunity to experience Good Faith Live at Bayfront Park in 2020. But fast forward two years later and Ultra made sure that Madeon would still be a part of their Bayfront Park homecoming. The timing could not be any better considering Madeon just embarked on his second leg of his Good Faith Forever tour—a newly renovated version of his sophomore album’s live show—and will host its first festival appearance at Ultra. For those that weren’t able to experience the first Good Faith Forever run this past fall and aren’t looking to spoil anything by watching his Firefly Festival stream upload, we can assure you that it’s an audiovisual masterpiece—including the majority of the Good Faith tracklist, classics, and a likely appearance from Madeon’s two unreleased IDs known as “Love You Back” and “Good”—that will make for a can’t-miss performance when combined with the picture-perfect setting that is Bayfront Park.

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Featured image: Rukes

ILLENIUM

When: Saturday, March 26

Where: Mainstage (closer)

ILLENIUM is about to become the first melodic bass music act to ever close out Ultra’s mainstage and that achievement alone should be enough for you to prioritize his set on the festival’s second day. But if you still need further convincing, read on. Dancing Astronaut‘s 2021 Artist of the Year perhaps has the most momentum out of any artist in dance music at the moment, riding a 2021 wave that was highlighted by his epic four-set TRILOGY show, which christened Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium this past July. The historic evening in the desert set the attendance record for a single headlining dance music performance in the United States, and Ultra took notice. The last time we saw ILLENIUM at Ultra was in 2019 where he played in front of a raucous Virginia Key crowd at the live stage before joining The Chainsmokers during their mainstage finale set to debut their hit pairing “Takeaway” with Lennon Stella. And it seems only right that after all that’s happened in the last year, the next logical step for the Fallen Embers producer is to be the one to shut down Ultra’s mainstage on March 26.

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Featured image: Rutger Geerling

Sunday Mainstage Closer

When: Sunday, March 27

Where: Mainstage (closer)

What we’re not going to do is sit here and try to convince you that we have concrete evidence on who the name behind Ultra’s headlining mystery is. What we are going to do, though, is tell you our prediction and assuming we’re right, why there’s nowhere else to spend your final moments of Ultra’s 2022 edition at Bayfront Park other than the mainstage. Realistically, there’s only so many people that could truly fit the bill of Ultra’s own description as its 2022 closer being “one of the most iconic artists in electronic history.” And our guess—along with just about everyone else’s guess at this point—is that it’s Hardwell. The Revealed Recordings boss made a surprise appearance during the label’s event at ADE back in October—with KAAZE going on to tease that he’s on his way back—and all signs—including the size of Ultra’s blur on its daily stage lineups graphic, the label hosting a Miami Music Week event, and Creamfields’ now-deleted lineup poster with his name not-so-subtly hidden—point directly to the bigroom king shattering his near four-year break with his eighth appearance at Bayfront Park.

Featured image: Ultra Music Festival/Facebook

The post Dancing Astronaut’s 10 can’t-miss sets during Ultra’s Bayfront Park homecoming appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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