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An Ultra Music Festival 2018 reveler rises above the crowd.
An Ultra Music Festival 2018 reveler rises above the crowd.
Photo by George Martinez

Rapture Music Festival Has No Standing to Sue Ultra, Judge Rules

In the turf war between Ultra Music Festival and Rapture Festival, Ultra just scored a win.

Yesterday a judge dismissed Rapture's lawsuit against the massive electronic music fest. She stated Rapture didn't prove it has been legally harmed by Ultra.

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"The complaint suffers from a facial defect," Judge Ursula Ungaro wrote. "It does not allege that [Rapture] has suffered any sort of injury that would give it standing."

The two festivals are duking it out over the rights to hold their respective events in Historic Virginia Key Beach Park at the height of Miami Music Week next month. Rapture, a smaller electronic music fest, has staged its event there for the past two years. But last year, in response to pressure from downtown Miami residents to leave Bayfront Park, Ultra set its sights on the venue. Its move to Virginia Key was approved by the City of Miami in November.

Rapture's lawsuit against Ultra claims the competing fest has violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act by "conspiring" to stage its event at the same place and time as its competitor. But in her dismissal, Judge Ungaro said Rapture failed "to plausibly allege any unlawful conspiracy or anticompetitive arrangement."

Additionally, she pointed out that despite the City of Miami's tacit OK of Ultra's plans in November, neither party's application to hold an event on the site has been officially approved yet — so, legally speaking, no harm has been done to Rapture.

Rapture appears to have suspended ticket sales, which ranged from $75 to $225. Ultra has already sold out several tiers of its tickets; those remaining range from $379.95 to $1,499.95. That's a lot of money to drop on an event that hasn't secured its venue.

Neither Rapture nor Ultra immediately responded to New Times' requests for comment.

UPDATE 12:04 p.m.: Rapture's attorney, Paul Silverberg, sent the following comment to New Times: "The suit was not dismissed. The complaint needs to be amended and will timely be amended."

Judge Ungaro's order states that the order is "dismissed without prejudice," but adds that Rapture has until Wednesday, February 13, to file an amended complaint.

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