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Ultra South Africa Cape Town [Review]

What: Ultra Music Festival South Africa
When: 14 February 2014
Where: The Ostrich Farm, Malmesbury
Overall experience: Absolutely life changing


All EDM fans dream about experiencing an event like Ultra Music Festival and thus the excitement from everyone was so big. The last saw South Africans this excited was for the Soccer World Cup in 2010, and it was great to see those who don’t usually listen to dance music also in attendance. I attended the Cape Town event and here are some of my thoughts about Ultra South Africa:

I along with many of those attending left university early in order to catch the opening internationals, Blasterjaxx, and it was well worth it as their high energy and massive drops set a good tone for how insane the music was going to be. Many complain about the parking at the Ostrich Farm as it always takes a while to get inside the venue, but to me it didn’t make much difference and built my excitement as I could hear the music and the crowd while waiting in the line.

The Ultra Mainstage was such a work of art and I could see why it took 4 days to set up. It consisted of a dome with the distinct “U” on top, flanked by vertically placed screens. In terms of the technical set up: the sound, lightning, pyrotechnics and lasers were all top quality. Exactly what one expects from the Ultra Worldwide brand. There were even fireworks which were definitely a first for me at a music event, and looking to the skies and seeing the amazing colours while hearing a beat drop will forever be one of my favourite moments.

The only negative I have is that it was difficult to find the other 2 stages and I only found the Goldfish Submerged Stage at the end while I was leaving.

In terms of music most the sets from all the DJ’s were top class and it was good to hear so much new music played. The first international duo of the evening Blasterjaxx set a high standard and their big tracks Mystica, Puzzle, Faith and Snake all went down. They even played their new collab with W&W in their set. The 17 year old wonderkid Martin Garrix  played one of the best sets of the night and it was amazing to see people running to the mainstage from the bar as he opened with Animals (Botnek Edit).

ultra south africa

Thereafter the Dutch duo of W&W lifted things up a bit with their well known big room sound. Lift Off, Thunder and their new track Bigfoot got big reactions from the crowd. They also ended with their new track which features hardstyle maestro Headhunterz. It was good to hear some of their older tracks as well such as Moscow and the ASOT 550 Anthem ‘Invasion’. Another highlight of the evening was Krewella who combined dubstep, drumstep and hardstyle into their set, all to the lovely voices of Yasmine and Jehan who both sound even better live. Their energy massive energy got the crowd pumped up for three of the biggest names in dance music: Nicky Romero, Afrojack and Alesso. Another special moment was when Nicky said, “Ek is life vir jou” (*tears). Afrojack dropped his new track Ten Feet Tall features lyrics from Wrabel.

The headliner for Ultra South Africa was the legendary Tiesto who has conquered both the trance and the EDM scene. From what I’ve heard and seen there have been some mixed reviews about his set but personally I think his set was perfect. He opened with his vocal banger ‘Take Me (ft. Kyler England)’  which was later followed by tracks such as ‘Hardwell – Apollo’ and even a remix of ‘John Legend – All of Me’. Which he dedicated to all those celebrating Valentine’s Day and only Tiesto could have pulled of dropping such an emotional song. Another big track was ‘Red Lights’ and then to top it all off Tiesto played Silence (W&W Remix) and the song of the night ‘Adagio for Strings’.

All in all it was a very good night with an energetic atmosphere, vibrant atmosphere, world class production and insane electronic music.

I personally think that there should have been more trance DJ’s so that is something to work on for next year as it would be great for some other genre to be represented, like the likes of Ferry Corsten, Omnia, Protoculture, Andrew Rayel and so many more.

Ultra South Africa 2014 will live our hearts forever and we will never forget the memories made. WE CAME, WE RAVED, WE LOVED. Until 2015.

Reviewed by: Jason Sam

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