Excellence Awards 2017
Ultra Music Festival 2016

Ultra Music Festival 2016

Ultra Music Festival has expanded from a one-day event to a three-day electronic music spectacle. While known for its top-tier DJs, what separates Ultra from the pack is its impeccable production. Richard Milstein pioneers the effort which features technologically advanced stages, lighting, and video design. The 2016 event was live streamed to 8 million people across the globe, stirring a global buzz over Milstein's groundbreaking and forward-thinking Mainstage design.

Ultra Music Festival in Miami is attended by more than 165,000 people over three days. It is held in Bayfront Park in the urban core of Downtown Miami, surrounded by high-rise buildings on three sides and by Biscayne Bay on the east. Consequently, the small size and limited access to the site presents enormous logistical challenges in production. 

Contrary to many other electronic music festivals that cater to a fantasy theme, Ultra Music Festival has futuristic, technological motifs. Inspired by his acclaimed, “The Vortex” stage in 2013 and his incessant attraction to sci-fi, Richard Milstein designed 2016 Ultra Music Festival main stage, which he called Pulsar. He re-introduced the vortex idea with a a triangular twist, 

The stage itself, over 200’ wide, was comprised of two large “swirls” made from 12mm LED paneling and 15mm LED interspersed for specific elements, with a large ‘U’ shape formed by 5mm LED. During the stage rigging process, over 175 points were required. The symmetrical stage was meant to draw attention to the performer in the center, with 10 20-Watt RGB full color lasers provided by Laser Production Network flanking either side of the performance area. 

The lighting design was seamlessly integrated into each ring of LED paneling to create powerful, diverse options for each artist’s performance lighting. Each row of paneling within the vortex is accompanied by dynamic (Clay Paky Sharpy Spots, Vari*Lite VL4000 Spot Luminaires) and fixed (Martin Atomik 3000 Strobes, ELAR108 RGBA Led Pars) elements to complement the visual effects. Two MA Lighting grandMA consoles were used to run the show, with over a thousand individual lighting fixtures used in total.

Equipment List

  • 62 Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 Spot Luminaire
  • 122 Claypaky Sharpy spots
  • 216 Martin Atomic 3000 Strobes
  • 48 Krypton KR10 (Matrix 10x 75W Strip)
  • 192 Chromlech Jarag Line (Matrix 5x 75W Strip)
  • 274 ELAR108 RGBA Led Par
  • 191 Chroma-Q ColorForce 72
  • 104 Philips Color Kinetic Colorblast 12
  • 26 Ayrton Magic Blade-R
  • 10 Pro Fans
  • 10 MDG TheONE Fogger / Hazer
  • 2 MA Lighting grandMA2 Full
  • 3 MA Lighting grandMA2 NPU
  • 10 x 20 Watt RGB full color White light ScannerPro projectors
  • 413 Meters of 12mm LED
  • 142 Meters of 15mm LED
  • 106 Screenworks X:5C 5mm LED

Production Team

  • Richard Milstein  - Stage Designer
  • Ray Steinman - Production Director
  • Stephan Lieberman  - Lighting Designer
  • Vello Virkhaus - Visual Artistry
  • Julie Hardin - Video
  • Patrick Dierson - LD
  • Josh Spodick - Programmer
  • Hugo Tardiff, David Bergeron - Solotech / Lighting
  • Randy Mayer, Nick O’Bryen - Screenworks / Video
  • Jake Smolenak, Ron Wilkinson - Mountain Productions / Staging & Rigging
  • Neil Rosenstock, Dave Thomas, Andre Serafini - Beachsound / Audio
  • Luis Torres, Dennis Brady - Pyro Engineering /  SFX

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