Ultra fans create UMF Essential, an Ultra Music Festival 2011 App for Android and iPhone
With over 150,000 tickets sold and hundreds of performances planned, Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is set to be one of the largest music events of 2011. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) fans will have the opportunity to see hundreds of artists across 9 stages, all jam-packed into a three-day festival in sunny Miami, Florida. With the broad array of talent ranging from the World’s top DJs and EDM performers (including 30 of DJ Mag’s top 100) to the top local Miami artists, figuring out who to watch, and where and when they’re playing can become overwhelming. UMF Essential, a fan-inspired app for Ultra 2011, is here to keep it all in order.
About a month and a half ago a new start-up, Festival Pulse, popped up on the scene. The company was started by Pierre Abs, a New York based film director, aspiring DJ, and long time EDM fan, and Mélissa Edouard, a Miami-bred luxury brand manager and relative newbie to the music scene. Both attended UMF 2010 and describe it as “legendary” and “the best festival of the year.” Their goals for UMF Essential were simple: to help EDM lovers learn more about the artists spinning, and make the most of this epic 3 day event.
When reflecting on her reasons for creating the app, Mélissa states: “With so many events it’s hard to choose what to do next. Last year we found ourselves running from event to event to fit 2-3 artists in one time slot. Other times we found ourselves in random tents trying to figure out who was spinning while fumbling through a damaged paper schedule …”
“This year we took a different approach” says Pierre, “with a phenomenal line-up and a good number of up-and-coming DJs, we decided to research as much as we could beforehand to make sure we knew who we wanted to see, and who we wanted to explore. The more we researched the more we realized how useful it would be to not only have this information on-site, but also to be able to visually plan out the day as well as pool parties and after parties before and after Ultra.”
The result was Mélissa and Pierre deciding to build UMF Essential only 60 days before the event. What came out of this was an app loaded with features including in-depth artist content, in-app scheduling, 10+ hours of video, a full lineup and visual planner, as well as an Ultra Week 2011 party guide.
Artist ProfilesThe Artist Profiles provide in-depth artist bios, photos, and videos so users can learn where artists are from, what genre they play, and where they’ll be spinning at Ultra. It sorts artists by name or DJ Mag rankings, and allows user to explore and discover new artists. These screens are accessible from most key screens in the app.
The in-app Planner enables users to schedule performances and reminders for their favorite artists, identify and help them fill gaps in their schedules, and view a visual representation of the schedule at any time by simply rotating your phone. Scheduling performances is as easy as tapping a star next to the artist name anywhere on the app.
An interactive zoomable/scrollable Map guides users to their next stage, and helps them locate the nearest point of interest, including food stands, drinks, restrooms, medical stations, VIP section, and more.
The app features 10+ hours of video content in three areas: videos capturing the essence of Ultra Music Festival, the best sets and performances from UMF 2010, and some “wild” videos from the UMF community.
Ultra Week 2011 Party Guide
An Ultra Week 2011 party guide is the icing on the cake with an up-to-date listing of 100+ Miami parties so users never have to wonder where to go next when the beats winding down at UMF.
All key features, including the Map work without a network connection, which is important considering the 50,000+ EDM fans who will be texting, tweeting, facebooking, and making calls from the festival.
Beyond App features the founders were also excited about another benefit to the app. “The environment is important to both of us”, says Pierre, “so we really got a kick out of the fact that the app would save 2-3 printed schedules per user, plus a number of party flyers. When you multiply that by several thousand, the numbers start to make a difference.”
The pair also expect more in the coming weeks: “We have been reaching out to artists via email and twitter, and are working on adding fun and informational tidbits and facts that fans like us will surely enjoy. We’ve already gotten some response on twitter from Yousef and signed up 12th Planet to be a beta tester so we are really excited!! We think it’s amazing that the artists are so willing to interact with their fans.”
The app launches on March 14th for iPhone and March 17th for Android. Priced at less than a bottle of water at the event ($1.99) this app promises to enrich any EDMs fan’s Ultra 2010 experience. Schedules will be updated as performance times are announced and updated by the festival. For app information and news of upcoming updates, the UMF Essential crew is encouraging EDM lovers to like the app on Facebook (facebook.com/UMFEssential) and follow it on Twitter (twitter.com/umfessential).