What's the quickest way to dump several million dollars into a local economy, create nearly 1,000 jobs, and generate upwards of $10 million in federal, state, and local taxes?
Simple, gather a bunch of electronic dance music artists and drop them in the middle of Downtown Miami, then add 165,000 screaming fans and watch it rain $100 bills.
According to a new study conducted by the Washington Economics Group and commissioned by Ultra Music Festival, the EDM fest's annual economic impact on Miami-Dade County is an astounding $79 million, including $32 in labor income and $50 million in GDP contributions.
"We always knew from the huge crowds that we draw that we had a major impact on our local economy, but we did not realize it was this huge," UMF creator and executive director Russell Faibisch said in a statement. "Last year people in all 50 states and more than 75 countries bought tickets to attend."
Of the estimated 165,000 annual attendees, WEG reports that nearly 60 percent come from outside of Miami-Dade, spending an average of about $262 a day on lodging, food, transportation, and shopping for stuff like Vick's inhalers, pacifiers, and furry boots.
Faibisch says, "We see ourselves as partners in the economic prosperity for Miami-Dade County and hope to continue and expand our contribution to the magic that makes our area unique."
Who knows, maybe the presidential candidates will apply Faibisch's fiscal policies and free the country from our current economic woes.
EDM's not just good for the club, bro. It's epic for the economy.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.