Skip to main content

The tug of war between Ultra Music Festival and various Miami stakeholders has concluded with today's Miami City Commission meeting. In today's proceedings, commissioners voted 4-1 on behalf of the event taking place on Virginia Key next year.

Prior to the commissioners' discussion, a number of Miami residents spoke on the matter. Naysayers outnumbered those in favor among the speakers who addressed the commission, citing environmental and infrastructure concerns as well as the increased presence of drug use in the surrounding community.

Key Biscayne Mayor-Elect Mike Davey, who has made his stance well known, was among the first to speak on the agenda item. "We're against [Ultra's move to Virginia Key] on a number of issues," he said. "We have one way on and one way off the island, and that's the Rickenbacher Causeway. What this item proposes is putting at least 160,000 people out there. This is going to impact our safety."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Martin Garrix

Martin Garrix Is Launching a Music Academy to Help New Artists

The program will offer masterclasses from Garrix himself, among other initiatives designed to equip young artists with tools to navigate the music industry.


Here Are the Best Spotify Wrapped Memes of 2022

Let's laugh away all the tracking we let this giant tech company get away with this year.

EDC Vegas 2022_brphotoco-01

Insomniac's Unique Hotel Experience for EDC Las Vegas 2023 Is a "Rave Wonderland"

"Hotel EDC" will take over Resorts World’s Las Vegas Hilton next spring.

Key Biscayne Village Councilmember Allison McCormick made pointed criticisms of the city itself in her own comments. "This commission can and should consider the impact of its decisions on the broader community," she said. "I cannot claim any firsthand knowledge on this, but my guess is none of you are personally passionate about electronic dance music - and please forgive me if I'm wrong - but this is about the money. 

Following a lunch break, lawyers speaking on behalf of Ultra Music Festival addressed the Key Biscayne councilmembers' concerns by highlighting inconsistencies in their rhetoric. They also alleged that despite Rapture Electronic Music Festival's strongly worded statements, no contract existed between their organizers and the city.

As Councilmember McCormick had speculated, the commissioners discussed matters of money more than anything else. After extensive deliberation, they agreed to let Ultra Music Festival relocate to Virginia Key as long as the event's organizers paid $2 million in fees to the city.

Ultra Music Festival has taken place annually in Miami since 1999. It initially took place at Collins Park on Miami Beach, but it quickly outgrew the location and moved to Bayfront Park in 2001. In September of this year, the city rejected the proposed contract for future editions of the festival to take place there.

Ultra Music Festival will take place from March 29th to March 31st, 2019. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the event website.




A photo of the main stage of Ultra Music Festival.

Ultra's Proposed License Agreement Decried by Key Biscayne Residents

Ultra Music Festival's proposed license agreement with the city of Miami has surfaced.

A photo of the Ultra Music Festival main stage at the 2019 event with fire/pyrotechnics shooting out above a crowd.

Ultra Music Festival's Return Opposed by Virginia Key Advisory Board

The Virginia Key Advisory Board cited negative impacts to nearby wildlife in their decision.

Ultra Music Festival Stage

Ultra Music Festival May have Found a Replacement Venue for 2019

The organizers of Ultra Music Festival may have found a long-term solution.

Ultra Music Festival 2019

Ultra Music Festival's Virginia Key Debut Assessed in Preliminary Recap Report

Ahead of today's city council meeting, Miami's city manager has compiled a report.

Ultra Music Festival

Rapture Organizers Urge Public to Keep Ultra Out of Virginia Key

"We are strongly opposed to Ultra Music Festival’s proposal to relocate."


Miami Commissioner to Initiate Ultra Discussion During Upcoming City Commission Meeting

Ultra Music Festival will be discussed by the City of Miami Commission at an upcoming meeting.

A photo of the main stage of Ultra Music Festival.

Ultra Music Festival Finalizes Lineup for 2019 Edition, Files Motion in Suit Against City

Ultra Music Festival's final announcement has arrived amid legal turmoil.

Ultra Music Festival

Ultra Music Festival to Provide Free Shuttles for 2019 Attendees

The organizers of Ultra Music Festival are working towards solutions to problems posed by their location change.