FAULT Magazine attends Ultra Europe 2016


Branching out from their historial roots in Miami, 2016 saw the fourth edition of Ultra’s trip to the sunny scenery of Croatia; Split’s Poljud Stadium the setting for an unfortunately abridged two days of explosive EDM fun.

After high winds had rendered the site too dangerous to open to the public on Friday, FAULT rocked up on Sunday following a jam-packed Saturday setlist; lucky festival-goers enjoying bonus sets from the likes of Armin van Buuren, Fedde le Grand and Above and Beyond, who were keen to make up for missing out on opening night.

From the second we arrived, it was clear Ultra truly was justified in it’s self-proclaimed billing as THE destination for electronic music lovers. Raucous crowds filled the outer Resistance, Worldwide and Arcadia Afterburner stages; the latter spitting flames high into the sky as revellers partied. Our pick of the sets came from the Netherlands’ MOTi; the Dutch electro-house DJ more than living up to his determination to ‘want people to have a good time and party to the music’.
But it was inside where the action reached its peak. Funnelling fans onto the pitch, the Main Stage assumed its position at one end between the beautiful curving roofs of the stands; both the base throughout the night for breathtaking displays of pyrotechnic firepower. Three huge domes, two large tents and an array of smaller bars kept attendees well-oiled as VIPs partied above, whilst a diverse selection of speedy food stalls dotted the walkways outside.

Straight off the bat, we were lucky to be at the heart of the chaos that was a bouncing Afrojack set; inflatable beachballs pinging around as the DJ Mag Top 100 regular wound through a tracklist that opened with the catchy, uptempo vibes of SummerThing!, and closed with the soaring Ten Feet Tall.

Super-DJ David Guetta was next, the thousands of fans in good voice as he unleased an array of huge anthems; the back-to-back drop of the Alesso Titanium remix and summer smash This One’s For You particularly provoking echoing renditions that spiralled into the night.

Rising young superstar Martix Garrix entered the fray as the penultimate act, by now greeted with a field packed from front to back. The Dutchman certainly laid down an impressive set; the signature beats of Animals and the enchanting festival favourite Name of Love bookending a short but very sweet performance.

However, finally the time came to finish an amazing weekend, and the big honour was appropriately reserved for a big name: house megastar Hardwell. Out to have some fun, he dropped everything from the Legend of Zelda to Levels, and cheekily even trolled the crowd with the soundtrack of the moment – the Pokemon theme tune – as his ‘last song’. Getting the thousands to drop to their knees and sit, he then appropriately closed out the festival in style, as the seated revellers exploded upwards for his Revealed, vol. 4 hit Apollo.

All in all, Ultra Europe more than lived up to its promise; though disappointed Friday fans will still hold their frustrations, the remaining two days helped once more cement the EDM extravaganza as one of the music events of the calendar. The sheer sea of flags, with hundreds representing all four corners of the globe, was a wondrous sight that will not fade any time soon; the cacophony of music, lights and fireworks similarly unforgettable.


We will definitely be back next year – we can only hope to see you there too!
Words: Jeffrey Burgin