Road to Ultra Philippines 2017

6:30 PM

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Almost two months after the line up announcement for the third installment of Road to Ultra Philippines, the day has finally arrived. Since the event usually happens around my birthday, I was one of the people who were waiting eagerly to find out which DJs were going to play.

This was my first time attending the event but my boyfriend filled me in on last year’s fiasco when Hardwell, one of the main headliners, decided to cancel last minute. I heard everyone was so bummed out because out of all the Ultra events in Asia at the time, Philippines had the heaviest line up, with Alesso, Tiesto, Fedde Le Grand, and Moti completing the list of international DJs playing then. Jauz was more than happy to replace Hardwell in the line up despite just playing for RTU Hongkong.

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(Photo from Road to Ultra Philippines)

So when this year’s lineup was announced, you can’t really blame people being hesitant about Hardwell showing up. This year, Hardwell was joined by Zedd as the two main headliners, supported by Getter, Rezz, and Sam Feldt. Deuce and Marc Marasigan, two of our own best local DJs, were also in the list of performers.

Of course this year’s event had to have another issue. Three days before the event, Ovation and RTU PH team decided to move the venue from MOA Concert Grounds to MOA Arena instead due to the storm. Attendees, including myself lol, were quick to comment on this sudden change and the possibility of Hardwell cancelling again. “It doesn’t have the festival feels that we were looking for if it’s done indoors.” said many.

To be honest, most of us were still hoping that the organizers would change their minds on the venue, but come Ultra day, we all still flocked to MOA Arena, festival gear, costumes, flags, and all. All roads lead to Ultra as they say (ha, pun intended). The stage looked nice and cohesive with this year’s Ultra theme. It also reminded me of another Ultra event’s logo, Resistance.


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(Grabbed from Marc Marasigan’s Facebook)


Patty Tiu (aka Deuce) got things going at exactly 5 PM, followed by Marc Marasigan more than an hour after. With both of their sets, I feel so proud that they were chosen to  be in this year’s lineup, they both deserve the international spotlight.
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(Photo from Road to Ultra Philippines)

Next up was Sam Feldt. To be honest, I was hoping Kygo was going to be part of this year’s line up because I really like Kygo’s music. But we got Sam Feldt whose music is a bit similar, on the chill side of EDM. He was also recently here in the Philippines for a show in Valkyrie and was so well received then. He kicked ass again for Ultra, happily waving our flag for everyone who was there during his set.

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Rezz, for me was a revelation. She had a unique sound and quality to her music that once you hear her play, you’ll definitely know it is her playing. She owned that style, I just hope the Filipinos appreciated her so much more. She played pretty early, as per the Filipino partying time, so the energy was not that high yet, many were still at the lobby or sitting down staring at their phones. I hope that won’t stop her from coming back here and by then, the crowd is ready for her.
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As the crowd was starting to thicken, Getter started his set. He set a nice tone, building up the energy by playing dubstep, trap, and hiphop tracks. He made it look so effortless, while we enjoy the music, I guess everyone was starting to get tipsy by then.


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At exactly 12 midnight, Zedd started his set. I can’t even explain in words how happy I was that his set is at the eve of my birthday. His intro was ‘Beautiful Now’ and for lack of a better term, it was really beautiful. Everyone was jumping up and down, dancing, and singing along to the beat of ‘pa pa pa’ if you could believe it haha! As someone who was already an EDM fan since 2012, you could understand how big of a fan I am of Zedd. I may or may not have memorized all the mixes that Zedd used in his entire set and even wore my Ariana cat ears because I was sure that he will play Break Free. It was fun, nostalgic, and I was more than happy to dance and sing along to everything. And in true Zedd fashion, the visuals was really good to look that, emphasized by the indoor setting.
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Intense. That’s probably the only word I can use to describe Hardwell. His energy was impalpable, you can’t really help but be carried away with the intensity that he brought to the table. It’s not just us jumping and dancing, he was doing it too. It was also fun to watch my boyfriend fanboying over Hardwell. If I memorized Zedd’s set, he had Hardwell’s set down to pat. I only got into Hardwell recently and I only know a few songs but I enjoyed just as much. Like I said, it’s kinda hard not to be carried away with his energy. Literally, walang pahinga the whole time. It was such a memorable experience
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Overall, I think this year’s RTU PH is successful, despite the minor issues and all that. It is definitely one of my favorite rave events to date. VIP area were full of people and I didn’t even think that the Lower Box area will be full but it was. MOA Arena turned out to be a great venue for the festival after all. There was AC so there was minimal sweating for the attendees, easy access to the comfort rooms, those who were in the Lower Box area have a good view of the stage while those who were in the VIP area had the freedom to dance and move their feet freely. And one of the best things that happened to Ultra PH? Being presented by San Miguel Oktoberfest. The beers were so cheap!!! We’re so used to expensive drinks during festivals, but P65 per cup? What a steal. I love it.

And before I forget, I just wanted to thank AfterParty and U Do U for letting me experience this event. That app helped me get tickets so I can’t wait to see what else is in store from them. Thanks for the best birthday gift I received this year!

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