Ultra Music Festival 2019 just announced that ticket sales will kick off June 6, but as usual the locals are putting up some major roadblocks to drive and drive the festival away. It’s not news that Downtown Miami residents dislike Ultra and fight endlessly to get it limited or shut down, but now a local Commissioner is essentially ransoming the event.
There is a special agency, outside of the local parks department, that runs Bayfront Park where Ultra takes place. Ultra had a 5-year contract with the agency for Ultra to take place, where the agency would get a ticket surcharge as well as a flat fee from Ultra. As a result, payments averaged about $660,000 a year. That contract expired after the 2018 festival, and now the Bayfront Park Commissioner, Joe Carollo, is demanding a $2m flat fee per year, over double what is currently paid.
Carollo also wants the City to reduce the number of events and festivals taking place at Bayfront each year, since the park is now closed to the public over 100 days a year. While Ultra is negotiating over this fee demand, the Rolling Loud festival has indicated it is willing to pony up the cash. The festival issued a statement that it will evaluate all options for 2019.
Carollo is also adding pressure by ginning up the locals who abhor the Ultra noise and traffic, bringing 30 residents to a commission meeting wearing “Save Bayfront Park” shirts. They trashed Ultra during the meeting, pointing to studies about excessive noise damaging hearing and windows.
Will this new move go anywhere? Who knows, but Ultra is moving forward as normal and ticket prices have already been announced.