Meet The Legend Who Designs Ultra’s Ridiculous Stages


With Ultra Music Festival getting ready to descend upon Miami yet again, anticipation is continuously growing among organizers and attendees alike. Perhaps one of the most exciting elements of attending the same music festival every year is seeing how the stages transform and develop. It is no surprise that event organizers try their best to wow attendees and top the previous year’s stage designs. But creating awe-inspiring stages is no easy feat. It takes a hard working team of innovative artists to put together something as great as what we see at top notch festivals today.

For Steve Lieberman, the whole concept of impressive stages is anything but strange. He and his company, SJ Lighting, have been producing intricate festival masterpieces for quite some time now. With events such as EDC New York and Las Vegas, Coachella, and Ultra under their belt, they are arguably some of the best stage designers in the game. Lieberman has worked every Ultra Miami since its inaugural edition in 1999, and this year he will be creating stages for the Carl Cox & Friends Arena and Worldwide stage. In addition to that, he is also the lighting designer and production coordinator for the main stage.

“It’s a total immersive experience. I want people to walk in there and feel like you’re part of the whole — that we’re not necessarily individuals. You are part of something bigger.”


One interesting thing to consider is that the production of Ultra’s main stage today costs more than the entire festival itself did back in the earlier beginnings. Although it may be hard for many ravers nowadays to imagine, EDM events were not always as popular as they are now. In regards to the costs of production, Lieberman stated, “It’s gone from a subculture to a mainstream environment. And with that comes funding.” And indeed, funding has come, and along with that funding is the immersive experience of attending festivals such as Ultra. If you are lucky enough to be partying it up in Miami this weekend, take a moment to remember that painstakingly hard work was done to create such a wonderful environment full of love and joy.

“I want it to almost give you whiplash… You feel the intensity from the pressure of the sound system to the movement of the crowd — it’s all of it.”

Check out a picture of this year’s main stage below!

Source: Miami New Times