Ultra Music Festival

Ultra Music Festival Announces 2019 Dates and Return to Bayfront Park

Photo by Douglas Markowitz
Ultra Music Festival's 20th edition hasn't even wrapped up, and the festival has already quietly announced the dates for its 2019 event.

The dance music festival will be returning March 29, 30, and 31, 2019, at Bayfront Park — that's according to the festival guides handed out to attendees Friday. Ultra's return to the downtown public space will be a relief to partygoers who enjoy the urban backdrop that sets Ultra apart from most major American music festivals, which usually take place in less densely populated areas.

Organizers have been working overtime to showcase the festival off as an asset to the city. On Friday, it hosted city of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, whose district encompasses Bayfront Park.

While downtown residents still consider music festivals a disturbance, effectively driving out Rolling Loud out of the park to its new home at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, they seem to be willing to compromise. The Downtown Neighbors Alliance is pushing the Bayfront Park Management Trust to double what it charges Ultra to use the park to $2.5 million, according to the Miami Herald. DNA hopes that by increasing the fee, the trust, which depends on Ultra to fund its maintenance budget, won't need to book as many events at the park. That would mean fewer disturbances throughout the year for nearby residents, keeping the park available as a public green space for the city.

Ultra moved to downtown Miami in 2001, back when the area was a desolate wasteland after 5 p.m. and on weekends. However, the area has gone through a renaissance in the ensuing decades, with thousands of well-heeled people taking up residence in the condos that have popped up along Biscayne Boulevard.

In the last few years, rumors have swirled about Ultra moving to a different location. But Ultra's organizers have always made their intentions clear: they want to keep the festival in downtown. Besides bringing thousands to the park, the event helps fill up hotel rooms and keeps nightclubs in Miami and Miami Beach busy throughout the week.
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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran