Last year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami was the biggest event in the series' 12-year history: a sold-out expansion to three days and over 100,000 attendees. Given how this was before the very well-documented 2011 dance music boom, next year's installment should promise even more. Even newly announced headliner Avicii isn't sure how big the event will be when festival returns March 23–25.
"It’s gonna be unbelievable. I really have no idea what to expect," Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) tells Rolling Stone, "but I’m really looking forward to it."
Avicii, one of the most prominent new faces of the exploding international dance scene, has many reasons to be excited about Ultra 2012. This year's bill includes many of the genre's legends, such as Kraftwerk, Carl Cox and Armin Van Buuren, plus such up-and-comers as Pretty Lights, Skrillex, Afrojack and David Guetta. "It’s definitely a big honor," he says of headlining the show. "It’s been one of [my] dreams. I’ve been watching videos from Ultra since before I started DJing at all."
Avicii plans to make his set a coming-out party of sorts, as it will be the unveiling of his new stage show. "This is the first time we’re able to use this amount of production for this show and we’ve been working on it, especially for the shows in general in 2012. I don’t know what I can and can’t say, but it’s going to be completely massive," he says. "That’s the thing we’ve tried to focus on; we don’t want to do anything that anyone else is doing right now. What we’re working on right now is gonna be something unique."
Even Avicii hasn't seen the full lineup, unveiled here exclusively for the first time. But when we give a rundown of some of the names, he turns back into a fan. "I'm gonna be doing a lot of running around," he says excitedly.
The day-by-day lineup for Ultra is as follows. Full festival information here.
Friday, March 23
Tiësto, Kraftwerk, Carl Cox, Skrillex, Afrojack, Miike Snow, Pretty Lights, New Order, Groove Armada (DJ set), Dirty South, Loco Dice, A-Trak, Dada Life, Porter Robinson, Neon Indian, Jack Beats, Chris Lake, Michael Woods, Nicky Romero, Tommy Trash, Katy B, DJ Icey, the Knocks, Afrobeta, Jon Rundell
Saturday, March 24
Avicii, Justice, Fatboy Slim, Duck Sauce, M83, Sven Vath, Carl Cox, Laidback Luke, 2manydjs, Flux Pavillion, Borgore, Doctor P, Metronomy, Little Dragon, Hardwell, Datsik, Andy C, Zeds Dead, 12th Planet, Magda, Skream! + Benga, Zedd, Mord Fustang, Cedric Gervais, Netsky, High Contrast, Mt. Eden, Camo & Krooked, Big Chocolate, Carbon Airways, Yousef
Sunday, March 25
David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade, Bassnectar, Chase and Status, Bloody Beetroots (DJ set), Fedde Le Grand, Knife Party, Magnetic Man, John Digweed, Steve Aoki, Ferry Corsten, Gareth Emery, Sander Van Doorn, Flying Lotus, SBTRKT, Adam Beyer, Steve Lawler, Joris Voorn, Jamie, Jones, Seth Troxler, Damian Lazarus, Nic Fanciulli, Layo & Bushwacka!, Marcus Schossow, Popof, Art Department, Big Gigantic, Savoy, Tritonal, Jochen Miller, Keys n Krates, Elio Riso, Remo, Eco, RioTGeaR