1. Get VIP tickets
I used to not understand why people paid so much more for business class when all it gave you was a little extra leg room, until I actually tried to work on a plane. I used to not understand why people would pay double the price of a festival ticket to isolate themselves in a VIP room either, until I got trampled by a pack of neon-rockin’ douchebags at Ultra. Honestly, the VIP is worth it for the bathrooms alone, but having a refuge where you can chill out and actually get some space to move is key. Of course, we had press passes, so we were sneaking out to Bayside to pee (and eat, and buy videogames), but if you can’t hook that up, then believe me when I say you need VIP tickets.
2. Stay away from the main stage
As mentioned, you need the VIP tickets as a douche-buffer, but if you can’t swing those, then your best bet is to avoid the main stage, which is where all the neon-colored cattle tend to graze. I literally saw people chugging down beers during the build-up of songs, and throwing the half-drunk beer into the crowd when the beat drops. I also saw a few Europeans looking on with shock and disgust. By far, the best stages were the live stage, which had seating, meaning a row of seats was blocking the douche in back of you from headbutting your shoulderblade, and the Eco Village stage, whose hippy vibe contrasted nicely with the thousands of empty plastic water bottles littered on the ground.
3. Find low key acts
If there’s two shows you want to check out at Ultra, without question you should see the less popular one. All of my favorite shows from the festival – Miike Snow, M83, JES, Bassnectar – benefited from having a refreshingly low amount of douchebags present, while said douchebags managed to ruin some big names that I did want to see, like Skrillex and Knife Party. On the second day, the Dub and Bass tent, as they called it, was so packed we couldn’t even get in, meaning I had to listen from the side while some psycho talked my ear off about the dangers of Oxycontin. Wack.
4. Come with a large group
In case you haven’t noticed, protecting yourself from the douches is a major theme of the festival, which is why you’re going to want to come with as big a group as possible. A big group will not only keep you entertained, it’ll also help you form a protective barrier in the crowd. Just make sure you have some girls in there, cuz someone’s gonna need to fight back against the douchettes that’ll push you around like their Filipina cleaning lady.
Whether it’s beer, liquor, or molly mixers, I would suggest getting as fucked up as you can. While some festivals are more music oriented, Ultra is 100% partying oriented. Expect a lot of high school kids getting drugged out harder than your old ass can ever imagine, and a bunch of college kids on spring break acting so dumb, you’ll swear that university is nothing but a mental enema for the douchiest of the douche. The only solution is to rock a neon cap with the word “Rage” on the front, push your way to the middle of the crowd, and get weird with people.