All the Rave: Ultra Music Festival Costumes
Every year around early spring, we get flooded with inquiries for neon hoodies, fluffies, animal masks and other accessories that may be used as part of electronic music festival costumes. It’s no coincidence; this is also around the time that Miami gears up for one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals in the world. Ultra Fest was started in 1999 by two music industry entrepreneurs who had a grand vision that clearly manifested itself over time. 17 years later, Ultra Music Festival attracts thousands of EDM aficionados, professionals and party goers from all over the world who have adopted the PLUR mantra—Peace, Love, Unity, Respect—as their own. Ultra Music Festival is an expression of all of these elements. Through heartfelt electronic music and expressive dancing, Ultra ravers show the world that all of these qualities can be achieved. With the exception of a few isolated incidents, Ultra is actually pretty peaceful in comparison to other events of this magnitude; call it, the 21st Century Woodstock. Rave costumes are another popular form of expression at Ultra—or any other electronic music festival—because they tie in perfectly with the thumping music, the flashing neon lights and mesmerizing dance moves. Being a costume store, located in Miami, with thousands of EDM costumes and accessories, and endless customer inquiries every year for Ultra fest, it was a no brainer that we check out what Ultra music festival is all about.
One of our costume specialists—who shall remain a nameless (his choice) closet party animal—loves everything EDM. He was absolutely ecstatic when we sent him to Ultra last year so that he could gather some insight for us on the types of costumes and accessories that were used by Ultra ravers. Interestingly, the true die-hard PLUR philosophers, the ones that scream and dance uncontrollably as soon as the drop hits, and sing along to every song in each set, were the ones that wore the most outlandish costumes. We found costuming to be such a big part of the EDM scene that we concluded that the mantra is missing one very important element: Costumes. PLURC should be the acronym for the raver mantra.
It is not necessarily that all rave costumes are specific to the category. In fact, the majority of costumes and accessories used at Ultra Fest are random outfits that in any other context would still hold up without being associated with raves. “Fluffies,” for example, are extremely popular among rave bunnies, which in the non-EDM world, are simply called furry leg warmers. Pretty generic name, but leave it up to the rave culture to rename them in more relevant ways. They often come as multicolored fluffy sets that include matching glovelets and even fluffy hoodies with character eyes and features. Again, these are probably common furry monster costumes. What really sets them apart is the personalization that often goes into the outfits. Combined with skimpy rainbow colored tutus, kandi, animal or angel wings, and sexy mini blouses (or bra tops), rave bunnies head to Ultra Festival to be the center of attention among thousands of spectators.
You would think that in a crowd of so many people wearing similar things, it is hard to stand out. But from what our insider tells us, every girl in costume seems to get a fair share of attention. No matter where you look, there is plenty of eye candy hypnotizing the crowds. Some of them, wearing nothing but neon swimsuits and a few costume accessories that make the guys go crazy. Now, male ravers, they REALLY are a spectacle. Guys don’t get nearly as much attention for the rave costumes they wear because let’s face it: sexy girls generate a whole lot more to talk about than a guy trying to match up. From what we learned by sending one of our own into the wild, guys’ rave costumes are just as outrageous and captivating as girls’. It was not what we imagined, but there just as many guys
showing skin. The buff oiled up look of a dude in an Indian Chief costume with a headdress, seemed to fit right in with the beachy atmosphere that Miami’s Bayfront Park is known for. Maybe it’s because it’s hot in Miami and Ultra is an outdoor event, but maybe, Ultra Music Festival frees everyone—including all the macho muchachos—to express the desire to dancelike no one’s watching while flexing in sexy clothes. If this is you, more power to you. It takes extreme confidence to pull off, so being in the costume industry, we applaud anyone who makes bold statements with fashion and costumes.
Less surprising male rave outfits and accessories, but just as eccentric, were neon skin suits (more commonly known as MorphSuits), Oppo Suits—for those who mean business in a not so serious way—though they are too hot for Miami, and animal masks. Animal masks, by far, were the most surreal costume pieces seen at Ultra. There’s something quite bizarre about an upright walking horse covered in candy, dancing to mind numbing 808s with flashing glow sticks, that makes Ultra Fest a completely surreal experience. After sharing the footage of the event with the Wonder Costumes staff, we all took a vote and we decided: We Love it! The vote was really to see if everyone was on board with our decision to expand our electronic music festival costume line. The answer was yes, hands down.
Wonder Costumes is the biggest costume retailer in South Florida that is open all year long for every electronic dance music event, from Ultra to Life in Color. We are open 24/7 online to anyone in the world seeking EDM costumes and available locally during weekly business hours to serve the Miami and international raver and EDM community. Browse and search our site for what you want, but if you wish to obtain more information about our rave costumes and other products, call us at 305-253-5380 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.