Ultra calls out Key Biscayne mayor-elect for ‘defamatory’ remarks

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Ultra calls out Key Biscayne mayor-elect for ‘defamatory’ remarksUltra Virginia Key Statement 1

The going has certainly been tough for the internationally celebrated Ultra Miami to obtain new stomping grounds after the city stripped it of its longtime Bayfront Park housing this past September. The tumultuous process has reached new levels of discord after the Mayor-Elect of Key Biscayne Mike Davey issued the festival and its organizers some overtly captious remarks, characterizing it as a potential “disaster.” Ultra has recently zeroed in on Virginia Key—which is adjacent to Biscayne—as a potential dwelling place for its 2019 installment, hence the resentment.

Davey assigns his scruples with Ultra’s intended move-in to environmental impacts, a likely traffic influx, and “an increase in alcohol and drug-related violence.” Ultra organizers issued a lengthy response repudiating these accusations.

It is deeply regrettable that Mayor-Elect, Mike Davey and the Village of Key Biscayne have elected to publish statements that are knowingly false and misleading rather than to first seek to collaborate with either Ultra representatives or its City of Miami partners (if for no other purpose but to gather accurate facts and to gain an understanding of Ultra’s commitment and obligations respecting, traffic mitigation and environmental and historical preservation planning).

The statement tackles the delivery of the Davey-narrated public announcement, which Ultra affiliates have contended is misleading and inaccurate in its entirety. Ultra spokesperson, Ray Martinez went so far as to say it, “potentially criminalizes [Ultra’s] patrons.”

By opting to instead circulate what appears to be primarily stock photos (unrelated to Ultra) featuring used needles, polluted shorelines, traffic gridlock, by falsely and intentionally reporting that potentially hundreds of thousands of attendees will be converging on the Rickenbacker Causeway and by falsely stating that the City of Miami had purportedly evicted Ultra for environmental destruction, increased alcohol and drug-related violence, safety risks and by reporting other untruths is blatantly disreputable.

In the video, Davey also alludes to his concern for the sanctity of Virginia Key’s unique historical significance, and the potential harm he believes the festival could bring to the Key’s beachfront, specifically. It should be noted, however, Ultra has and continues to consult environmental authorities, civil engineers, and conservation experts in order to assess and subsequently mediate the event’s potential impact on its surroundings.

Davey isn’t alone in his scrutiny of the festival either, as Ultra already received thorough contest from the Virginia Key villagers after organizers released a draft of agreement plans for venue proceedings. An official vote on Ultra’s move to Virginia Key is slated for Nov 15.

Read Ultra’s full statement below:

It is deeply regrettable that Mayor-Elect, Mike Davey and the Village of Key Biscayne have elected to publish statements that are knowingly false and misleading rather than to first seek to collaborate with either Ultra representatives or its City of Miami partners (if for no other purpose but to gather accurate facts and to gain an understanding of Ultra’s commitment and obligations respecting, traffic mitigation and environmental and historical preservation planning). By opting to instead circulate what appears to be primarily stock photos (unrelated to Ultra) featuring used needles, polluted shorelines, traffic gridlock, by falsely and intentionally reporting that potentially hundreds of thousands of attendees will be converging on the Rickenbacker Causeway and by falsely stating that the City of Miami had purportedly evicted Ultra for environmental destruction, increased alcohol and drug-related violence, safety risks and by reporting other untruths is blatantly disreputable. The offending publication(s) by Mayor-Elect, Mike Davey and the Village of Key Biscayne is patently false and inaccurate and was made with reckless disregard of the truth. “It unfairly disparages our brand and potentially criminalizes our patrons,” says Ray Martinez, Ultra’s spokesperson. The publications made by the Mayor-Elect are believed to be defamatory, as are the horrendous images that were published in an effort to purportedly inflame and scare residents and stakeholders. Ultra condemns this conduct and cautions that such leadership is irresponsible and wrongful on multiple factual and legal grounds including that the disturbing images were not associated with the Ultra Music Festival brand.

Resident backlash erupts as draft of Ultra Music Fest’s Virginia Key agreement surfaces

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Resident backlash erupts as draft of Ultra Music Fest’s Virginia Key agreement surfacesUltra Music Key Biscayne Resident Backlash

With their 18-year run in Miami’s downtown coming to a sudden end, Ultra Music Festival is in the process of moving its flagship three-day fest to Virginia Key — but it’s not all all palm trees and PLUR for the residents of neighboring Key Biscayne. A draft of the agreement in question has surfaced, and the island is rallying heavily in opposition to the proposed plan.

With the island only reachable via Ultra’s prospective new home, residents held an emergency meeting on November 5 to air concerns ranging from noise, environmental damage, unmanageable traffic, and more. From all accounts, this isn’t just an average neighborhood rabble — citizens have hired a PR firm for the fight ahead, and promise to mobilize and resist the agreement however possible. With the November 15 vote to secure Ultra’s new home fast approaching, the sudden pushback could spell trouble for the fest’s future digs.

Photo credit: EDMKevin

Ultra confirms intention to move to Virginia Key

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Ultra confirms intention to move to Virginia KeyUltra Recap 1

Tumultuous times have fallen upon Ultra‘s flagship Miami edition. Resident efforts and other factors culminated in a “no” vote from the City Commission to renew their five-year license, ending an era that lasted nearly two decades.

But the show must go one, as they say. The behemoth festival brand has set its sights on the nearby Virginia Key, per a dual confirmation from organizers and city officials that negotiations were in the works to move to this location. Currently, plans are to move the iconic three-day dance festival over to the Miami Marine Stadium; however, complications have already arisen due to the fact that the Miami International Boat Show takes place at the same time and venue. Ultra has noted their desire to run the festivals “in tandem” with one another, in two separate areas of the park. They’ve also run into an obstacle with Rapture Festival’s booking on the space, but organizers are fairly confident the smaller, underground-focused event will end up moving locations should their plans come to fruition.

A vote to determine whether or not the move to Virginia Key will be able to take place will be held on November 15.

 

H/T: Miami Herald

Miami’s annual Winter Music Conference receives organizational makeover, complements of new ownership

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Miami’s annual Winter Music Conference receives organizational makeover, complements of new ownershipMiami Music Conference 1

For its first year under Ultra Worldwide‘s wing, the “lifeblood of the dance music scene,” Winter Music Conference is undergoing a complete revamp from its new ownership.

The event’s new proprietors have settled on bringing the event back to the Faena District, coinciding with the conference partnership with The Faena hotel, for the 34th annual WMC March 25-28 to undoubtedly catalyze another brimming Miami Music Week. The 2019 edition of WMC will embrace a more targeted organizational structure, featuring both an application-only, panel-fueled networking branch of the conference, oriented at working industry professionals, in addition to an informative, publicly accessible portion in which inquiring music connoisseurs can learn more of the ins and outs of the industry’s landscape.

“For decades, the electronic music industry ran through WMC,” said Ultra Co-founder Russell Faibisch in a recent release. “It was where the mega deals were done and provided a launching point for countless legendary tracks as well as breakthrough DJs. In March 2019, WMC returns with a fully revamped program that gets the industry back to business.”

With its new, fully stocked agenda, WMC is primed to serve as an ideal segue into not only Ultra Music Festival, as it always has, but for industry folk and lay-listeners alike to direct efforts towards the continued construction of the electronic empire at large.

Register for WMC here.

Ultra Music Festival has been expelled from Bayfront Park

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Ultra Music Festival has been expelled from Bayfront ParkUltra Japan 1

Ultra Music Festival has been a staple in Miami for 18 years. But its run is finally over.

Today, the City of Miami Commission voted to deny the festival a new five-year agreement forcing the longstanding event to find a new home.

There wasn’t much debate on the commission and the final vote was unanimous, arguing that downtown residents have been complaining for years that the festival was too loud and chaotic for the residential neighborhood.

Despite opposition, Ultra had hope that the commission might still let the festival return, just for a shorter term, but there hopes were quickly dashed after Ultra’s spokesperson Ray Martinez asked to defer the vote and was confronted by Joe Carollo.

“What you are trying to do is take away the decision from the [Bayfront Park Management Trust] and get the deal you want and leave the [DNA] out in the cold. Where is the transparency here? You guys know that I know what you are up to.”

It is unclear where Ultra Music Festival will take place next year.

Via: Miami New Times

Gary Richards’s Friendship music cruise is hosting a four-person cabin giveaway [Enter Here]

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Gary Richards’s Friendship music cruise is hosting a four-person cabin giveaway [Enter Here]Friendship Music Cruise 1

HARD Events (HARD Summer, Holy Ship!) founder, Gary Richards is extending an invite to his sea-bound get together, the Frienship Music Cruise, consisting of merely a few thousand of his closest friends. One lucky winner will secure a four-person cabin aboard the awe-inspiring, amenity-filled Celebrity Equinox cruise ship.

Organized by Richards’s new AMFAMFAMF event brand, the cruise will sail from Miami to the Bahamas December 11-15. Lining the walls of the party-prepared vessel will be alluring acts from all ends of the electronic continuum, from Rüfüs Du Sol to Boys Noize to Anna Lunoe, to Destructo (Richards) himself. The giveaway is running through October 1. So for those seeking to indulge their penchant for warm-weather inside broad sonic landscapes and stave off stark winter woes aboard one of the most luxurious cruise ships on the planet, the Friendship Cruise has the answer.

Enter to win here. For more info on the festival itself, head here.

Wynwood Fear Factory brings Galantis, RL Grime, Duke Dumont and more to Miami for Halloween weekend

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Wynwood Fear Factory brings Galantis, RL Grime, Duke Dumont and more to Miami for Halloween weekendRl Grime Spooky

Summer festival season is winding down, but the events circuit shows no signs of slowing as fall lineups begin to pour in. Halloween billings have already started surfacing, and thanks to the organizers at Diskolab, Miami just became a top contender for Halloween weekend destinations. Mana Wynwood Warehouse will host some of the most in-demand electronic acts in the country across October 26 – 27, with a roster topped by RL Grime and Galantis, along with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike billed as the weekend’s special guests.

The rest of the lineup boasts a solid supporting cast with performances from Getter, Tritonal, Keys N Krates, and Duke Dumont all locked in. This year’s lineup also includes Blackgummy, BROHUG, and Deorro among others. Wynwood Fear Factory passes and VIP packages are on sale now — purchase tickets here.

Wynwood Fear Factory brings Galantis, RL Grime, Duke Dumont and more to Miami for Halloween weekendWynwood Fear Factory 2018 Lineup Dancing Astro Artwork

Famed Miami nightclub The Electric Pickle announces impending closure

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Famed Miami nightclub The Electric Pickle announces impending closureScreen Shot 2018 08 07 At 2.56.13 PM

Wynwood Arts District resident, The Electric Pickle will close its doors in June 2019. Venue owners and operators Tomas, Diego, and Mitch announced the nightclub’s impending cessation in a Facebook post published on the event’s official Facebook page.

“It’s been a crazy ride and we’re not done yet,” Tomas, Diego, and Mitch write, after acknowledging their mutual decision to forgo the renewal of the venue’s lease. “It’s time for a change,” the message continues, “We look forward to one more trip around the sun, filled with parties and memories.”

Those interested can get a look at The Electric Pickle’s event calendar leading up to the club’s June closure, here.

View The Electric Pickle’s Facebook post, here.

Photo Credit: The Electric Pickle

Rakastella ushers in its storied return to Miami with Phase 1 lineup

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Rakastella ushers in its storied return to Miami with Phase 1 lineupRakastella Credit Tasya Menaker

Art and dance music connoisseurs can rejoice in knowing that Innervisions and Life and Death‘s iconic joint event. Rakastella, is returning to its home of Miami during Art Basel on December 8. Hosted on the Virginia key, the event is primed to fulfill it’s title’s mission once more of “making love” by melding together stunning visuals and some of the finest house and techno into an immersive 14-hour show.

As DJ Tennis, Dixon, and Âme are the prime curators behind their labels’ event, the lineup is naturally cutting edge. The aforementioned acts will be headlining, joined by Job Jobse, DJ Harvey, and Red Axes. Apparat will also be making his Miami debut in the form of a DJ set.

Stay tuned as more of the roster is unveiled. In the meantime, purchase tickets here.

Rakastella ushers in its storied return to Miami with Phase 1 lineupRakastella

 

Featured image credit: Tasya Menaker

Miami city commissioner to Ultra Music Festival: pay $2M annual fee to city to renew Bayfront Park contract, or relocate

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Ultra Music Festival organizers will face a steep price tag if they wish to keep Miami’s veteran music event in its longtime location of Bayfront Park in the years to come.

The Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA) circulated a petition in July 2017 that called on Miami’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to return access to Bayfront Park — DNA residents’ “neighborhood park” — to downtown Miami locals. “Since the beginning of 2017, Bayfront Park has been closed to the public or in a state of disrepair for over 100 days because of mega-concerts like Ultra and Rolling Loud,” the document read. The petition surpassed 1,100 signatures when it reached the hands of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo.

Now, the feud between downtown Miami dwellers and large scale Bayfront Park hosted music events like Ultra Music Festival will come to a head as Carollo presents UMF orchestrators with a financially oriented ultimatum: pay $2 million annual payments to the agency that oversees Bayfront Park, or take Ultra elsewhere.

UMF organizers’ previous contract permitted the festival to occupy Bayfront for a five-year period. In exchange, Ultra Music Festival paid the city of Miami a sum comprised of a usage fee and a ticket surcharge that was then tacked onto the cost of each individual UMF admission cost. The city collected an average of about $663,000 from UMF over the five-year stretch, notably enjoying an elevated profit of $742,000 in 2018. Given that Ultra’s contract expired in 2018, festival organizers will need to make swift and strategic moves if they plan to keep Bayfront Park as Ultra’s home location.

While Miami residents like Rev. Pedro Martinez continue to call upon city officials like Carollo to ‘stop the prostitution of the park to multiple events,’ Ultra lobbyist Ray Martinez reiterates the global value inherent in the festival that, in many ways, put Miami on the musical map. ‘Let’s look at the positives,’ Ray Martinez said, ‘We talk about Miami wanting to be a world-class city. Ultra is a world-class event. It is the Art Basel of electronic music.’

Rolling Loud is also expected to face steep fees if it seeks to return to the park in future years of festival production. Neither Ultra nor Rolling Loud have commented on the recent contract related complications.

Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage

H/T: Miami Herald