Music News

Ultra 2013: Organizers Willing to Work With City on Downtown Traffic, Security Concerns

Marc Sarnoff still hasn't returned repeated calls to Crossfade about his anti-Ultra Music Festival stance.

But considering Tommie Sunshine's push to get EDM fans to call and email him, we're pretty sure he's been busy the last for the last few 24 hours.

However, we do finally have a response for Ultra Music Festival organizers, which says the festival has been working hard to make sure downtown workers and residents are disrupted as little as possible during both UMF weekends.

UPDATE Trainspotting author and Miami resident Irvine Welsh defends Ultra: "I'm disappointed in Miami, the fest breathed life into a dead downtown."

UPDATE #2 Marc Sarnoff's spokesperson says commissioner doesn't want to "shut down" Ultra.

UPDATE #3 Miami mayor Tomas Regalado says: "One [Ultra Music Festival] weekend is enough ... people complain about the kids."

UPDATE #4 The resolution has been voted down. And City of Miami commissioners have approved Ultra Music Festival 2013's second weekend.

See also:

-Ultra 2013: City of Miami to Vote on Resolution "Disapproving" of Second Festival Weekend

-Ultra 2013: Commissioner Wants To Kill Second Weekend Because Attendees Are On "Mind-Altering Drugs"

-Tommie Sunshine on City of Miami vs. Ultra: "Way to Demonize the Visitors Who Make Money to Cover Your Asses"

In a letter sent to city commissioners, the organizers state: "Ultra a has undertaken a wide-ranging community outreach effort to address issues and concerns from local businesses, office buildings, residents and other stakeholders affected by the festival."

Among UMF's pre-emptive measures: the hiring of traffic engineers to come up with a plan that provides the least impact on the downtown area. Organizers claim to have learned a lot from last year's festival at Bayfront Park, insisting the new plan drastically improves the way festival-goers will reach the gates as well as the flow of traffic along Biscayne Boulevard.

Security concerns are also being addressed, as organizers plan to pay for off-duty Miami Police officers to be stationed at locations such as the Intercontinental Hotel, Miami Center, Bayside Marketplace, 50 Biscayne, Vizcaya, and 900 Biscayne. Almost $600,000 has been committed by Ultra to being spent on off-duty police and fire personnel for downtown properties, and the festival has agreed to pay for trash pick up within a five-block radius in all directions of Bayfront Park.

The festival's organizers add that the Bayfront Park Management Trust gave Ultra approval to host two weekends back in October, and the event has received good reviews from the police and fire departments as crowd management plans have continued to improve.

So Ultra seems to be willing to play by the rules. But will Sarnoff call of the dogs? We'll have to wait until tomorrow's City of Miami commission meeting.

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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