One of the most closely watched stories in the world of dance music throughout 2018 has been where Ultra Music Festival will end up in 2019. The festival was more or less evicted from its home in Bayfront Park after a series of vocal citizens and councilmen shot down the contract extension which would have
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.
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.
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.
Last month the fate of Ultra Music Festival was thrown into uncertainty when a dedicated group of angry downtown residents rallied to shoot down a contract extension for the music festival to rent out Bayfront Park. The festival had been hosted at Bayfront for several years and the location became synonymous with the world’s most
Tiësto has released his latest single, “Grapevine.” Premiered at Ultra Music Festival earlier this year, the track employs a universally recognizable vocal sample from the prince of soul, Marvin Gaye‘s rendition of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” And if the album art is any indication, this one is meant for peak energy festival play.
But “Grapevine” isn’t the one note, main stage-only kind of production one might expect from the Dutch superstar. It pays homage to its main attraction’s soulful roots, seeing Tiësto continue on a venture into deeper territory, moving away from a formulaic structure. Percussion replaces synth progressions, creating an interesting — even surprising — course of development throughout the track. Like Gaye’s original track, this one should be able to attract a wide range of fans.
This single is the Grammy winner’s second original release of 2018, following the single “WOW.”
One of the biggest storylines in dance music this year is the fact that Ultra Music Festival might be forced to find a new home. For many years the festival has called Bayfront Park in downtown Miami home. But residents have gotten fed up with the noise the festival produces as well as the chaos
Two weeks ago the Miami City Council shot down a contract extension for Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park. The contact would have cemented Ultra’s iconic home for another 5 years. A vocal minority of residents opposed the festival being held in downtown Miami due to the noise which it created for one weekend a
Ultra Music Festival had one of its best years ever in 2018. After selling out their flagship event, reuniting Swedish House Mafia, and celebrating one of the statistically safest editions in company history, the sky appeared to be the limit. Then all of a sudden a small group of very vocal residents began to fight
After the Sept. 27 announcement from Miami City Commission that Ultra Music Festival would no longer be allowed in Bayfront Park, the festival has issued a statement in response.
In a Facebook post published hours after the announcement, festival organizers said they’re “disappointed” with the outcome of the decision, but that they’re working on “establishing a resolution that works for everyone.” Organizers also took time in the post to clear the air about some of the decision’s ramifications, noting that the vote “represents only a denial of certain terms of the current proposed five-year contract, rather than the continued production of the overall festival itself.”
Ultra has taken place in Miami for the past 18 years, but continued complaints from area residents of over the years have caused the issue to be taken up with the Miami City Commission. Though it remains unclear where the festival will take place next year, it appears from this announcement that festival-goers can remain hopeful that the organizers will concoct a solution.