Miami Commissioners Delay Decision on Fate of Ultra Music Festival

The Miami City Commission won't be making a decision Thursday on the fate of the Ultra Music Festival

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The fate of the Ultra Music Festival could be decided at Thursday's Miami City Commission meeting. Commissioners are expected to discuss a resolution from Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff that would prohibit Ultra organizers from holding the festival at Miami's Bayfront Park. (Published Thursday, Apr 24, 2014)

    The Miami City Commission won't be making a decision Thursday on the fate of the Ultra Music Festival.

    Commissioners had been expected to discuss a resolution from Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff that would prohibit Ultra organizers from holding the festival at Miami's Bayfront Park.

    But on Thursday, the resolution was withdrawn, and a discussion on the subject was moved to the April 24 commission meeting.

    The resolution calls for Bayfront Park Management Trust to be prohibited from holding Ultra due to breach of contract.

    Ultra organizers have hired lobbyists to help them make their argument for why the festival should stay in Miami. Event organizers hailed the move as a "short-term victory" in a statement issued late Thursday.

    "Event organizers remain thankful for the infinite support of their patrons and partners in Miami and across the world. Ultra remains committed to working actively with the City of Miami, its Police, Fire and Risk Departments, and the Bayfront Park Management Trust to continually make the event safe, secure and successful," the statement reads."

     
    "We're gonna talk today about what the event means to the community, we're gonna talk about its economic impact, specifically to downtown businesses and hotels and restaurants and the like," lobbyist Brian May said. "And we're also gonna talk about the safety and security measures that we undertake for the event."

    This year's festival ended with one person dead and a security guard hospitalized with a skull fracture and a broken leg after she was trampled by ticketless gate-crashers who broke through a chain link fence.

    Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said officers had warned festival officials before the festival began that the fencing in the area where guard Ericka Mack was injured needed to be beefed up. He said organizers didn't follow though. Ultra's plans with the city included more secure fencing, which was not installed.

    Regalado was vocal in his criticism of Ultra in the wake of the event.

    "With the drug use and the noise, I have to say that Ultra has overstepped its welcome," Regalado said.

    The festival has a contract with the city that runs through 2018.

    Meanwhile, a petition on Change.org has been started to keep the festival at Bayfront Park, citing the event's economic impact to Miami.