Miami's Ultra Music Festival Expanding to 2 Weekends

Many downtown residents see the March event as a high-stress time

The “Ultra”-large message came via a live YouTube announcement.

Ultra Music Festival will be extending the party to two weekends in March – and double the ultra means twice the fun for music lovers.

But along with more electronic music booming through the streets of downtown Miami, the event’s expansion could mean an even greater economic boost for the city. The festival already pumps about $79 million into Miami’s economy each year and employs about 915 people, according to a new study from Washington Economics Group Inc.

"This is going to bring a lot of money to the city of Miami, it's a great event,” Miami Police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz said. “And that's what we want – everyone to enjoy themselves in sunny South Florida.”

The 2013 fest will be held March 15-17 and March 22-24, organizers said.

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The 2012 event resulted in just over 70 arrests, many of them drug-related. But that was a relatively small number compared to the large crowds the festival brings in, Cruz said.

"We saw some individuals that took some sort of drug substances,” he said, adding, “it was obviously a burden on rescue.”

But is the community ready for two times the party? Many downtown residents see it as high-stress time.

"You have people from all over who don't have too much respect for our beautiful city, and it's just constant, constant noise,” resident Carol Storms said, “and rumbling and garbage."

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