Belgian hardstyle label Dirty Workz returns to Ultra Miami this year for the second year in a row. We sat down with label founder Coone to discuss all things Ultra Miami 2023.

Amy Melissa Farina

Ultra will take place March 24, 25, and 26 at Bayfront Park in Miami Florida. Last year, Dirty Workz celebrated its 15-year anniversary during the Dirty Workz 15 Years World Tour which kicked off at Ultra Miami.

This year once again the Dirty Workz stage will be home to some of the biggest artists in the hardstyle scene. With heavy hitters such as Da Tweekaz, Dr Phunk, Darren Styles, Lil Texas, Rebelion, Sub Zero Project, Talon, and Warface – this is a line up you don’t want to miss.

Interview with Coone

Congratulations on Dirty Workz hosting a stage at Ultra for the second year in a row. How does it feel to be returning to Miami?

Thank you! It feels amazing. Last year was truly incredible. Celebrating and kicking off the 15 Years Dirty Workz World Tour in Miami, while also being the first Hardstyle stage ever at Ultra is something we’ll never forget. Together with Ultra and all the fans we made history.  

What did the process look like for curating the Ultra line up for this year?

We sat down with the label team and selected some of Dirty Workz finest, but also added some other Hard Dance heavyweights outside the label that we really like. We’re very stoked about this line up and we hope the people of Ultra feel the same!

How do you (and your team) find the balance between artists that you want to be represented on the line up with what will most resonate with the crowd at Ultra?

I think already a lot of artists on Dirty Workz fit Ultra very well. Last year we saw the visitors of Ultra were ready for Hardstyle. The energy was insane throughout the entire day. That’s also why some names that played last year will return this year. Next to that we added some new names to keep it fresh and interesting. And most important is that we also invited US talent to this year’s line up. A good mix of artists to bring the best all round hard dance experience! 

Ultra has an unforgettable atmosphere…

What has the crowd and vibe been at Ultra been compared to major festivals in the Benelux

At our debut last year, we weren’t sure what to expect. The online response to the line up announcement was crazy, but we weren’t sure if this was also going to resonate on the day itself. From the start, the vibe was insane and you could tell the people had been waiting a long time for this. Of course I love playing in Belgium and The Netherlands, but these fans can visit the biggest Hardstyle events every weekend if they wanted too. Obviously this means that after a while they get less overwhelmed when they see their favorite act perform again. At Ultra you felt it was extra ‘special’ to the people, which automatically translated to an unforgettable atmosphere. 

Let’s say someone is new to hardstyle and attending Ultra for the first time, which of your tracks would you recommend that they check out to get them hooked?

‘Superman’ or otherwise my brand new track ‘All Of The Lights’ together with Robbert Falcon. Both tracks contain everything what Hardstyle is about in my opinion!

An iconic venue…

What differentiates Ultra Miami from the hundreds of other festivals that you’ve performed at or that Dirty Workz has been involved with?

Ultra Miami is unique for many reasons, but I would say that the venue is one of the most iconic I played at. That together with the amazing visitors, artists and Floridian weather makes it a one of a kind festival. 

It’s no doubt that Ultra is one of the biggest festivals in the world. We are all for taking hardstyle to the masses here at HardstyleMag but unfortunately not everyone feels the same. How would you respond to people who argue that hardstyle is becoming too commercial?

People have been complaining about Hardstyle becoming too commercial for years. It’s so ironic, because in a way we’ve always been. There are dedicated Hardstyle events that welcome more than 50.000 visitors a day. How is that not commercial? Haha! It’s just that some fanatic Hardstyle fans get anxious when they see Hardstyle acts perform at cross over EDM festivals. I can only say that’s it’s a good thing and great for Hardstyle. The more fans and events embrace this sound, the bigger our genre will grow. Shoutout to the few worried people out there: ‘Hardstyle is not changing, the dance scene is embracing it!’ 

What was the craziest or best moment that you had at Ultra in 2022 and what are you most looking forward to this year?

Something I still remember is the moment I played my track ‘Faye’, which is a track of mine dedicated to my daughter. At this moment the fireworks starting to go off at the Mainstage which was visible through the palm trees. This was definitely a special moment for me. Regarding this year, I’m just looking forward returning to Ultra to have even more people Join Hardstyle. So see you all in Miami! 

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