Locals Are Trying to Ban This Festival From Its Longtime Home

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Fri July 28, 2017 | 13:15 PM

Ultra Music Festival is nearing the end of its contract with Miami's Bayfront Park Management Trust, and locals are taking advantage of that by attempting to kick out the massive electronic music event.

News broke this week of a petition created by Bayfront residents wielding considerable financial power who hope to jettison Ultra from its longtime location (fifteen years!) in Miami, Florida. The residents hope the petition will result in the city denying renewal of Ultra's contract. The residents coalition, called the Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA), has also demanded the city crack down on noise at clubs in the 24-hour entertainment district. So far, the petition has gathered just over 1,000 signatures.

Bayfront Park, the part of downtown Miami where Ultra takes place each year, is currently undergoing a real estate boom; construction of condos and luxury apartment towers are everywhere. As a result, there have been many recent complaints from residents aimed at the area's lively nightlife scene, on which the Miami Herald has reported extensively.

Ultra 2016 A Live 1

Photo by: Amol Raval

According to Dancing Astronaut, the petition takes aim at all music-related events in Bayfront Park, including Rolling Loud, a hip-hop festival:

"We, the residents of Downtown Miami and its neighboring communities deserve to have daily access to Bayfront Park – our neighborhood park…Instead, since the beginning of 2017, Bayfront Park has been closed to the public or in a state of disrepair for over 100 days because of mega-concerts like Ultra and Rolling Loud."

In a recent Miami Herald article, residents detail their woes of having their lives disrupted by the nightlife noise, arguing that downtown Miami is more than just a "club district," it's now a full-fledged neighborhood that will keep populating and diversifying for the next couple of decades.

“We’re prepared for the backlash of ‘Boo-hoo for these rich people who can’t sleep, and didn’t they realize they were moving next to the club district?’ ” resident Mark Kirby told the Miami Herald. “But since the clubs opened, the area has evolved into a neighborhood. People have a basic right to live in peace and quiet...It’s about a precedent and a standard for the next 20 years of growth in Miami.”

Money talks, though, so it will be hard for the city to ignore the fact that Ultra alone brings at least a $79 million positive economic impact annually, as reported by the Miami New Times in 2012. (Imagine how much it's grown since then!)