Alejandro “Alex” Omes, co-founder of Ultra Music Festival and a mainstay in Miami’s club scene, died on Monday night. Omes, who was a native of Miami, was 43. There’s no word yet on the cause of death and his passing certainly took many by surprise.
According to the Miami Herald, Omes was discovered in his bed at his Miami Beach home after he failed to show Monday for a court date, said his friend Carmel Ophir, former owner of the The Vagabond in downtown Miami.
In a statement, officials with the festival wrote, “The organizers of Ultra Music Festival extend their deepest condolences to the family of Alex Omes and are saddened by the news of his passing. We will continue to remember and celebrate Alex for his love, passion and contributions to the Electronic Dance Music community.”
Omes started UMF in 1999 with then-partner Russell Faibisch. He left Ultra in 2010 and went on to present various shows for Swedish House Mafia while UMF expanded to Tokyo, Johannesburg, São Paulo, Seoul, Cape Town and Split and Hvar, Croatia.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
While Ultra Music Festival in Miami has become a rite of spring for many dance-music fans here in the U.S., Ultra Europe is well on its way to following in sister festival’s footsteps.
Held July 11-13, 2014 at Poljud Stadium in Split, Croatia, Ultra’s organizers report that their second European edition attracted 150,000 fans from 125 countries. Expanding from two to three days just meant more music and performances as well as an exclusive Ultra Beach pool party on the island of Hvar at the Hotel Amfora Grand Beach Resort.
The bill was littered with all the usual EDM suspects (Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, Example, Fedde Le Grand, Hardwell, etc.) and the production looked spot-on.
Have a look at these brilliant images shot by Rukes.com and Rudgr.com, which should hint at what lies in-store for Ultra Japan taking place in September.
When Slovenian DJ/producer UMEK’s first U.S. tour concluded in Miami last month with three events — he hosted his 1605 label showcase together with Deeperfect in The Clevelander, played Toolroom’s pool party at the Raleigh Hotel and finished with a set at Carl Cox’s Megastructure at Ultra Music Festival — amid all of the insanity that is Miami in March, the mixmaster says his IDMA invitation for Best Techno/Tech House DJ went to his spam filter. In fact, UMEK says he found out about winning the award, edging out Richie Hawtin, Joris Voorn, Loco Dice, Sven Vath, Adam Beyer and Tiga, on Twitter.
Cue sad trombone.
UMEK is moving forward without a hitch, preparing a collaboration with Waka Flocka due out this summer. In a statement he said, “I would never produce a track I wouldn’t then play on stage. I constantly want to try out new things. I turned my studio gadgets upside down and around to get some interesting sounds and now it’s time for me to experiment with human voice a bit. After all it’s an instrument we all know how to operate. I think it fits perfectly!”
With the cash that track will probably rake in, UMEK might want to hire someone to manage his inbox, right?
With Ultra Music Festival 2014 drawing to a close on Sunday night, the team behind the festival have announced that Ultra Music Festival 2015 will take place March 27-29, 2015. The 16th edition of Ultra Music Festival boasted some big numbers: 165,000 party people from over 90 countries worldwide across three days (March 28-30) packed themselves into Bayfront Park venue in Downtown Miami. The 2014 Ultra Live Stream produced by UMF TV garnered 9,655,615 views in total from more than 190 countries worldwide in just 3 days, compared to last year’s viewership of just over 11 million when the festival was two weekends and six days long. Organizers claim to have generated $233 million for the local economy. UMF 2014 did have some bad news: a security guard was nearly trampled to death by gatecrashers at Bayfront Park, leading for Ultra to make a full security review of the event. Miami’s Mayor Tomas Regalado has called for the end of the annual three-day March festival.
Read our UMF 2014 recaps of day one, day two and day three.
Image by Kathy Vitkus
Fans poured into day two of the Ultra Music Festival (read our day one recap here) at a slightly slower pace considering their intense, party-packed week but once inside the music-filled playground they switched into high-energy party mindset.
Vicetone played a daytime spot at the UMF Radio Stage getting a solid reception and an added applause when Nicky Romero appeared on stage. All the artists have been professionally supportive of each other’s work such as with Vicetone’s “Tremble” on Romero’s “Legacy” release.
Sisters Krewella — Jahan Yousaf, Yasmine Yousaf — sans third band member Rain Man, wowed the main stage, sharing split time behind the decks and at stage front on vocals. They played “Punk,” gave a shout-out to their hometown of Chicago and a shout-out to their absent band member. They also gave a dedication to their parents who they said were somewhere else viewing the live stream (and enjoying bragging rights, I’m sure) as they went into “Legacy.”
Gramatik’s set at the Live Stage set was doused with the artist’s instinctive genre, hip-hop, but then spanned the generations, and quite successfully, when the very classic “Superstition” hit the sound system bringing fans to the aisles.
Bro Safari incited the crowd at the Worldwide Stage as the genres seamlessly mixed from hip-hop to drum ‘n’ bass.
After entering the hospital upon his arrival in Miami this week, Avicii has issued a statement about his health. Doctors have told him that he needs to have his gall bladder removed, which has forced him to cancel is appearance at Ultra Music Festival. He has assured fans that he will recover in time to launch his US True Tour. Deadmau5, who once ranted about how awful UMF is for fans, will take his place on the bill.
“I’m really sorry but as some of you have already heard, I will not be playing Ultra Festival this weekend.
My fans know that I have had issues in the past with my stomach and pancreatitis…I woke up on Wednesday morning with serious pain but I flew to Miami anyway, hoping that it would go away. The pain was still there when I landed so I went straight to hospital. I was treated and left later that night.
Unfortunately, the pain came back yesterday afternoon and I returned to the hospital where they admitted me to stay overnight.
My doctors have decided to operate and remove my gall bladder tomorrow morning.
It’s a routine procedure and all going well, I expect to be fully recovered and back on my feet in time for my US True Tour.
Thanks for your concern everyone, it means a lot to me!”