After a long debate, The City of Miami Commission has approved Ultra Music Festival’s move to Virginia Key. We have learned a great deal about the plan during the deliberations. The commision meeting, which began at 9 a.m. today, included several statements from community members. Concerns included environmental harm, noise pollution, damage to wildlife, increased traffic and transportation issues.
Originally Ultra was pushed to pay $2 million to stay at Bayfront Park. During this move to Virginia Key the contract was negotiated to be $1.4 million. During deliberations several council members wanted to push Ultra back to $2 million or more. Their representatives argued that there is at least $800,000 in additional transportation costs and the possibility of much lower attendance. Ultimately Ultra was asked to accept the deal for $2 million to sell 60,000 tickets and they accepted that deal.
Ultra’s Head of Production testified that the Miami Marine Stadium area could squeeze in about 4 stages. While Bayfront Park is about 32 acres, we were not given a total square footage for both new spaces combined. The Miami Marine Stadium area is about 17 acres.
The Space Between
It’s gonna be a trek and a half, guys. Ultra’s own people discussed how European festivals feature a lot of walking between the stages and “that’s what we are trying to create here”. While we doubt they set out to create a long walk, that’s what we’ll get. The plan is to use a paved bike path between the Miami Marine Stadium and the Virginia Key Historic Beach. So get in shape because you’re gonna trek it. Ultra will probably split the areas so that similar stages will be near eachother, with people testifying that many people pick a stage and tend to stay there.
Ultra plans on spending at least $800,000 on transportation expenses relating with this new venue. That includes busing for an estimated 50,000 people, water taxis, and rented parking garages.