Known as the seminal EDM event that has established a strong global presence for Miami, Ultra Music Festival is nearing it’s contract expiration with Miami’s Bayfront Park Management Trust.
A newly formed coalition of Bayfront residents, with a heavy collective financial hand, are petitioning the city to deny the renewal of ULTRA‘s contract — a festival that has brought hundreds of thousands of dance music fans together for over 15 years.
The petition is being circulated by the Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA), a group that has also demanded the city crack down on noise at clubs in the 24-hour entertainment district. The group says it’s interests lay solely with those of a growing class of residents in the heart of the city.
The petition, which is nearing 1,100 signatures, was delivered yesterday to Commissioner Frank Carollo at the monthly meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The Miami Herald referred to the move as merely the “latest salvo” in the growing feud between downtown’s residential community and its entertainment scene, which have had conflicting interests since the city’s recent condo and apartment tower boom.
In fact, the petition goes as far as to request bans on all music-related events in Bayfront Park, including the hip-hop festival, Rolling Loud.
We, the residents of Downtown Miami and its neighboring communities deserve to have daily access to Bayfront Park – our neighborhood park…Instead, 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 neighbor alliance vows that it is no enemy of nightlife, citing their dedication to community service, education, and a focus on the needy in their neighborhood.
Ultimately, it would be impossible to dispute the downtown resident’s complaints. Yet, as the Miami New Times rightly points out, it remains difficult not to wonder: What exactly did you think downtown Miami was like before you moved in?
Downtown is not Miami Shores. It’s not Kendall. Like every major metropolitan center, it’s a big, busy, crazy, loud space that serves as a civic hub for the 2.7 million people who live in Miami-Dade County. There are tradeoffs to living in the middle of all that. An exciting, walkable lifestyle with gorgeous views of the bay, by necessity, comes with some noise, traffic, and general annoyance…Residents who bought downtown condos knew exactly what they were bargaining for when they signed their contracts.
But EDM enthusiasts and nightlife financial backers have recently fired back on the petition group’s Facebook page. Over all, UMF brings in a $79 million positive economic impact on South Florida.
In an age where “cash is king,” it will be interesting and unsurprising if the city rules in favor of Ultra Miami.