Elected officials for the city of Miami are pushing Ultra Music Festival producers to postpone the 2020 electronic music festival which is set to take over the Florida city the weekend of March 20th-22nd, citing the arrival of Coronavirus cases now entering North America.
According to a report shared by the Miami Herald on Wednesday, City Commissioner Joe Carollo, who manages Bayfront Park where this year’s event takes place, and Mayor Francis Suarez both called for the organizers to suspend the massive EDM event. The two city officials along with City Manager Art Noriega spoke with Ultra producers on Wednesday, but declined to elaborate on the results of the call with the media. Instead, the city will make a joint announcement with Ultra this Friday, March 6th, at 9 a.m. local time.
“We’re saying suspend it to a later date when we’ll have a better idea of where we’re heading with the coronavirus.” Carollo said in a statement on the current status of the event, which has a max capacity of 55,000 fans from around the world per day.
Suarez also added, “I can tell you that just in the last 24 hours, I have received countless emails and messages of all kinds urging the city to act. That is another major motivator to have this conversation before it gets too late.”
The Miami Mayor also noted that the city has the authority to cancel the event entirely under the current agreement with Ultra Enterprises.
This isn’t the first time Ultra organizers and Miami city officials have been at odds over the very popular electronic music festival. Ultra threatened to leave Miami and take their business elsewhere after the Miami City Commission unanimously voted to deny Ultra’s application for a new contract in 2018. The event found a new home in Miami’s Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and Miami Marine Stadium Flex Park in 2019, and was offered the license by the city to return to its former location of Bayfront Park for 2020.
Wednesday’s report also comes in the midst of major tech brands like Facebook, Amazon and more pulling out of their planned participation at the SXSW industry conference and trade show in Austin, TX later this month due to health concerns with such a large, intimate gathering.
Stay tuned for Friday’s announcement as to whether the 2020 event will go on as planned or not.
[H/T Miami Herald]