Ultra Music Festival 2016 Day 2 Highlights: deadmau5, Nero, AlunaGeorge & More

Philippe Wuyts for Ultra Music Festival 
Ultra Music Festival on March 18, 2016 at Bayfront Park Amphitheater in Miami.

Day two of Ultra Music Festival wasn't without its hitches, but it went over easy like slow-cooked eggs. Billboard Dance was there to catch the surprises and the dependable mainstays. Here's the 12-hour play-by-play.

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12:02 p.m.

The weatherman says rain, but ravers don't melt, and the first early birdies have already begun to arrive. Did they go straight to sleep when the gates closed last night, or did they come straight from the after party? Either way, these people are party troopers.

1:27 p.m.

“The Prodigy canceled,” someone announces while looking at the update from the Ultra mobile app. I immediately begin formulating a time travel plot to go back in time and save my evening's future. It would have been the legendary British band's first show stateside since 2009.

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2:05 p.m.

All stages are officially activated and the crowd begins to swell. A light shower does nothing to damper the mood as the air fills with electricity. “Who will take over the Prodigy's slot?” people wonder.

3:23 p.m.

Ravers clash with religious protesters outside the Ultra gates. Most partiers take the PLUR road and shake off the plea to turn back and come to Jesus. What these red-faced sign-holders don't realize is, UMF is a little slice of heaven.


4:19 p.m.

Dark clouds move quickly overhead without marring the beautiful weather. It's a lucky day, and Icona Pop celebrates with a spirited burst of energy on 2012 anthem “I Love It.” No bridges were harmed.

5:46 p.m.

Mija moves skillfully from hard-edged dubstep to cheeky trap on the UMF Radio stage, setting the tone for a day full of meme-heavy bass genre-hopping as part of the OWSLA label stage takeover.

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6:57 p.m.

Two guys in matching tie-dye shirts dance on top of their seats to AlunaGeorge, at times mirroring the stylish singer's movements, getting low when she does and waving their arms. That these two best friends are the biggest AlunaGeorge super fans at the Live Stage is abundantly and charmingly clear.

7:05 p.m.

A first-time witness to Richie Hawtin's techno expertise stumbles out bleary-eyed from underneath the Carl Cox & Friends megastructure. He goes on and on to his friends about how he's never seen anything so cool in his life. We know, dude. Welcome to the party.


7:54 p.m.

Don Diablo gives the Worldwide stage a break from its usual turn-up transmission to get a little sentimental. “I need a lighter moment. Can I see it in the air?” he asks as he plays “Silent Shadow.” The crowd dutifully fills the air with glowing things.

8:02 p.m.

Bass bastion and king of the memes Getter sends revelers into a Snapchatting frenzy when he unleashes a timely trap rework of mind-bogglingly popular Vine “Damn Daniel” by PRXZM, proving once and for all that wherever you go, the Internet will follow.

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9:30 p.m.

Nero scratches an industrial itch with a mind-blowing, cornea-blasting live production. It's a wild hour of classic beauty meets crunching metal, while across the way at the Main Stage, Afrojack smashes his headlining set with edgy electro attitude.

10:04 p.m.

A desperate man erupts into the press area to ask if anyone has a Macbook charger. “It's for Avicii, so you can get it back as soon as his set is over.” One helpful doesn't think he'll ever see his charger back, but 20 minutes later, the Swedish superstar is going strong and the cord is returned in PLURfect timing.

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11:02 p.m.

deadmau5 saves the day with a last-minute closing set, technically but not quite emotionally filling the void left by Prodigy's absence. He pays homage to the foundational act by mixing “Smack My Bitch Up” into the set.

11:55 p.m.

Hardwell finishes strong with stomping hardstyle vibes. Fireworks shoot off in every direction as thousands of hands reach for the stars. Another day of Ultra melts into history as sun-kissed bodies make their way into the Miami night.


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