Ultra

How to survive a dance party marathon

Words: Roger Young 
Photography: Luke Daniel

Ultra South Africa took place over two days in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and although nearly 40 000 EDM fans attended, very few got to party at both events. However, The Red Bulletin did. These are our tips for going the distance

1 PACE YOURSELF

You’re gonna arrive with this “I want to experience EVERYTHING!” attitude. Don’t. Slow your roll. Don’t be the guy on Night One passed out near the food stands, before we’ve even hit midnight. 

2 HYDRATE

And hydrate again. Every time you’re stuck for something to do - wondering which stage to go to, waiting for your friend who is certain the girl in the pink lumo bikini was looking at him, trying to get your app to tell you who’s next on main stage - HYDRATE. The answer is always Hydrate or see #1. 

 

The official aftermovie to South Africa’s second Ultra festival

3 GET IN EARLY

Arriving early allows you to see the lay of the land, before everything is obscured by wife-beaters, flexing waves of muscles and the churn of a million EDM enthusiasts. Know the quickest route to the porta-loos from any point at the venue, and discover the shitty hotdog stall behind the bar that will always have the shortest queue. 
 

“Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate”

4 SUPPORT TEAM

With daytime festivals it’s best to have a fresh crew for each new day; with weekend fests you’re stuck with who you went in with on Day One. With a daytime festival in two cities, you get to choose a fresh team for each city. Make sure they can get you home or to the airport on time. As you don’t need your crew the next day, you’re free to push them to their limits. 

Ultra

A selection of the world’s most in-demand DJs and producers from around the world performed at this years SA’s Ultra

© Luke Daniel

5 TENT ON YOUR BACK (OR BIG POCKETS)

You’re not sleeping there but you’re gonna need to keep some essentials with you. Gum, sunblock (if you’re starting at 12pm, you’re gonna need to re-cloak around 2:30pm), a water bottle (see #2), a little over-shirt for when things get nippy on the shuttle home and maybe a little recovery pack in case things take a turn for the worse (perhaps some coconut water, Advil, charcoal tablets and a colonoscopy). Oh, and a cell phone charging cable.

Ultra

More than 40,000 hardcore, trance, house, grime, dubstep and bass fans passed through the gates at Cape Town’s Ostrich Ranch and Joburg’s Nasrec Showgrounds

© Luke Daniel

6 MODERATION

Screw that! You’ve paced yourself, you’ve hydrated, you’ve prepped in every way and now Hardwell is up. Go large. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself.

“Take a little recovery pack in case things take a turn for the worse …”

7 FIREWORKS & OTHER PROJECTILES

Should be self-evident but at these jols people like to throw crap, added to the fact that there is an entire team of people chucking fireworks over the crowd. The best advice is to always hang out near people who are taller than you. Except if the projectile is vomit. Then you’re on your own. At least you know the shortest route to the portaloos. 

8 MAKING OUT WITH HOT GIRLS/GUYS

I joke. Forget about it. You don’t meet new people at Ultra. You might scream jokes at a strangers at the free vodka slush tent, who you will re-encounter at Synergy next year, but you’ll never remember that you actually know them from Ultra. So getting as far as making out with anyone? Forget about it. The only possible way it could happen is if you don’t think about it. And good luck with that. 

Ultra

To find out about next year’s Ultra South Africa, click here 

© Luke Daniel

9 GETTING HOME

Suddenly the lights are up and your phone is dead. Can’t find your support team, can’t Uber. In your backpack (or large pockets) is a cell phone charger: go to the shitty hotdog stand – using the shortest route, the one you memorised earlier – and they’ll let you plug in. 

10 RECHARGE YOURSELF

Always sleep on the plane. 

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