With the ninth annual Ultra Music Festival right around the corner, co-founder/executive producer Russell Faibish says ticket sales for the March 23-24 event at Miami's Bicentennial Park are right on track.
"[Both days] are looking to sell out in advance, which would be a first-ever in Ultra's history," Faibish tells Billboard.biz during a conference call. Adam Russakoff, director of business affairs for Ultra Music Festival, adds, "We have more than doubled our ticket revenue over last year with the same number of days remaining to show."
More than 150 bands and DJs are confirmed for this year's festival, including the Cure, Paul van Dyk, Shiny Toy Guns, Miss Kittin, Tiësto and Brazilian Girls, to name a few. "It's a little bit more mainstream," Faibish says, "but we brought back some of the real godfathers of electronic music." Past years have seen performances from such artists as the Killers, Moby, Hard-Fi, the Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Hot Heat and the Streets.
Ultra Music Festival 2007 tickets are tiered at $119.95 (two-day pass), $74.95 (March 24) and $59.95 (March 23). The festival's March 23 opening day will have a limited capacity of 25,000 people, while March 24 expands to 50,000 people.
This year marks the first time Ultra Music Festival expands to two days. Part of the reason for a two-day model, Faibish says, was for efficiency reasons. "Instead of having 15 stages like last year, we have nine stages. It gives the fan a more enjoyable experience and allows them to see all the artists they want," he explains. Faibish also notes that last year's fest nearly reached full capacity. "Since the festival started, we've always increased in attendance -- we haven't dipped."
Last year's Ultra Music Festival ranked No. 7 on Billboard's top 10 festival tally for 2006. The one-day fest grossed $2.2 million and saw 30,385 in attendance, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Beyond Miami, Ultra Music Festival is expanding its brand to other cities. "We're doing events and festivals in different markets around the world, including Brazil, Puerto Rico and New York." Outside of Miami and New York, events are branded as UMF.
Fans in Los Angeles can also expect an Ultra Music Festival later this summer. "It's still coming together," says Faibish, declining to name any confirmed acts. "After Miami, we'll start focusing on that."