Back in September, the Miami City Commission unanimously voted to deny Ultra Music Festival‘s application for a new contract to continue staging their lavish annual event at Miami’s Bayfront Park next spring. (For reference, the City Commission had declined the festival’s 5-year renewal proposal even though it promised to bring in $2 million per year, more than twice the rent that Ultra had paid in the past. The city also denied a one-year deal proposal, probably with good reason). Today, however, Ultra Music Festival has announced its indefinite new home, the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and Miami Marine Stadium Flex Park. The 2019 event will once again take place during Miami Music Week, from March 29th through 31st.
In a long-awaited statement to their fans, the festival professed:
We are excited to announce that the City of Miami has agreed to a deal to relocate Ultra Music Festival to the beautiful and historic Virginia Key. The new venue will allow the festival to evolve into its new, larger home, ultimately creating a more enjoyable experience for all festival attendees. We look forward to a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with our partners at the City of Miami and Historic Virginia Key Beach Park as we commemorate keeping Ultra in the City of Miami.
The Miami City Commission’s initial opposition to Ultra Music Festival’s return to Bayfront Park likely stemmed from widespread complaints by local residents about the noise, traffic, and general chaos the festival imports from all corners of the Earth each year. Hopefully, by expanding to a new, larger home, the festival will exist without interrupting the flow of the city.
In addition to the bigger site, which will allow for greater capacity and more attendees, the new venue will permit an extended operating time until 2:00 am. According to the press release, “attendees will also have vastly expanded space as compared to the former venue” and will “experience in-tandem staging at both the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and Miami Marine Stadium Flex Park, creating a wholly unique single event space.”
About the festival’s intentions to keep the space sacred, the press release notes:
Due to the cultural and historic significance of Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and given the unique environmental considerations associated with the park, Ultra Music Festival intends to take extraordinarily great care in its production and remediation approaches. Ultra understands that staging an event at Virginia Key means becoming the entrusted stewards of the environmental and historic elements of Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
Additionally, the festival’s partnership with the city will clear a path to accessing “approximately $20 million that has been earmarked to build Miami-Dade County’s first African American Museum.” With all this, we shall see.
While a lineup has not yet been announced, tickets to Ultra Music Festival are currently on sale. For more information, head to the festival’s website.