The Ultra ban has failed.
After delaying the issue at its April 10 meeting, the Miami City Commission finally discussed, considered, and voted on the future of the EDM fest.
The result was 4-1 in favor of Ultra returning to Miami and Bayfront Park for 2015.
See also: In Defense of Ultra Music Festival
Photo by Ian Witlen
Two weeks ago, Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff cosponsored a resolution "prohibiting the Bayfront Park Management Trust from holding the Ultra Music Festival in the future," spurred largely by the trampling of security guard Erica Mack at this year's event.
But just as it was set to be addressed, the mayor and commissioner both asked that the motion be withdrawn in favor of "discuss[ing] this," Regalado said, "on the next commission meeting."
So today, the Ultra issue was finally confronted. And while Regalado griped that "residents complain they are prisoners in their homes for three days," the festival's lobbyist, Brian May, insisted that "to lose [Ultra] would be something that is damaging to the Miami brand in the future."
In the end, Ultra won out, with only Sarnoff voting against keeping the fest in Miami.
Photo by Ian Witlen
However, the Miami City Commission did impose certain conditions on Ultra.
For next year and further editions of the EDM fest, organizers will be required to boost the number of police officers on patrol. They will also need to secure the perimeter of Bayfront Park with two layers of G8 fencing to prevent gate-crashers and incidents like the trampling of Mack. And finally, they must host so-called "mental health and drug stations."
The festival agreed to the commission's demands. And following the vote, Ultra reps are feeling "pleased" and "optimistic," already releasing the following:
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Ultra Music Festival Statement on Today's Decision By City of Miami Commission
We are pleased with today's decision by the City of Miami Commission to continue our long-standing tradition of producing the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami. We are also extremely happy for our fans from around the world who love coming to Miami to be part of Ultra. The setting for the event in downtown Miami is part of what makes the event magical. We appreciate the commission for their vote today.
We will continue to work closely with the City of Miami, the Bayfront Park Management Trust, City of Miami Police Department and other municipal partners, small business owners and the local downtown community to ensure next year's event is a safe and fun environment for concertgoers and Miami residents. We are pleased to continue our ongoing practice of assessing and implementing improved security measures as well as any recommendations from our ongoing security review being led by our new Director of Security, Police Chief Ray Martinez.
As a Miami-based company, creating jobs and attracting tourism to South Florida, we are privileged to create over 1,800 direct jobs in our community and bring over $80 million in economic impact to our local economy. We are optimistic about the future and creating more opportunities to grow and strengthen Miami for all.
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