Following a back-and-forth with Miami officials that ended with Ultra Music Festival returning to its longtime home of Bayfront Park, it came to light that organizers had yet to sign contracts with the city mere months before the event. They reportedly still have yet to finalize said agreements, and now it appears nearby residents are suing the city.
A four-count complaint issued by attorney Sam Dubbin on behalf of residents belonging to the Downtown Neighbors Alliance accuses the city of violating its own charter, allowing an illegal nuisance, and disregarding its own bidding laws by allowing the event to take place, as reported by the Miami Herald. “Between 2012 and 2019, the city allowed Ultra to conduct music festivals in Bayfront Park, and blast catastrophic volumes of noise into plaintiffs’ and other downtown Miami residents’ homes, depriving them of the quiet enjoyment of their homes, and also depriving plaintiffs and other downtown residents access to Bayfront Park for several months each year,” reads a passage.
Ultra has taken place annually since 1999. It originally occupied Miami Beach's Collins Park before relocating to Bayfront in 2001. From 2006-2011 the festival was held at Bicentennial Park and relocated to Bayfront the following year, where it has remained for most of its lifetime.
In 2019 the Miami City Commission voted down Ultra's contract to return to Bayfront Park. After a tumultuous one-off event on Virginia Key, organizers announced plans to take the event to a nearby city. Whether intentionally or otherwise, they galvanized efforts on officials' part to lure them back to Miami rather than forego the event's local commerce impact.
Ultra Music Festival will take place from March 20th-22nd, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the event website.