Miami’s Ultra Music festival may be forced to relocate from their location at Bayfront Park unless they start paying the city some hefty annual payments.
As reported previously by The Miami Herald, a total cost of 2 million dollars was the amount quoted to host next year’s three-day music event after strained meetings between festival organizers, the agency that controls Bayfront Park, and the commissioner for the district that owns the park.
Ultra’s most recent five-year contract with Bayfield ended this March, where the combined total paid to the city averaged about $663,000 over this timeframe, and netted about $742,000 for this year’s event alone. Joe Carollo, the commissioner for the city who also serves as the chair for Bayfront Park Management, is requesting that Ultra Music Festival organizers pay up to 2 million flat should they choose to renew another five-year contract.
The cause of this price increase stems from an effort for the city to start reevaluating how Bayfront park is used and to possibly cut back on the number of events held at that location. The amount of traffic and noise caused from these numerous events has also sparked anger in local residents of the city over the past few years.
During Thursday’s commission meeting, Carollo invited about 30 residents of the city to speak out against the issue.
“The city of Miami needs its central park to function as it was assigned, as a park to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors,” said Rev. Pedro Martinez, who lives in the Biscayne condo tower directly across from Bayfield, “Let’s stop the prostitution of the park to multiple events.”
In response, Ultra lobbyist Ray Martinez had the following to comment:
“Let’s look at the positives. We talk about Miami wanting to be a world-class city. Ultra is a world-class event,” he said. “It is the Art Basel of electronic music.” He then went on to explain that he personally speaks with residents when they have concerns regarding the event, and that organizers have set up a complaint hotline for this purpose as well.
Whether or not the city and Ultra organizers will come to an agreement is yet to be determined.