Good news, ravers. Ultra Music Festival isn't going anywhere. The Miami City Commission voted 4-1 to keep Ultra in downtown Miami at Bayfront Park.
Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff had joined together to introduce a resolution to ban Ultra from downtown after the near-fatal trampling of a security guard at this year's festival. In response, Ultra secured the services of power lobbyist Brian May and hired former Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez as its new head of security.
Commissioners discussed the fate of Ultra at today's meeting. Ultimately they ended up passing a resolution confirming Ultra's contract to continue at Bayfront. Sarnoff was the only nay vote.
Ultra naysayers cited a number of tragic incidents related to Ultra, including the hospitalization of security guard Erica Mack after gate crashers trampled. Defenders countered with similar examples from other events including Calle Ocho.
It appears however that Ultra's economic impact on the city swayed the commission.
Though, commissioners insisted that Ultra install more secure fencing in the future and required a greater police presence.
Update: Here's a statement from Ultra founder Russell Faibisch:
"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."
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.