The location for the 2019 edition of Ultra Miami, one of the biggest fixtures in the global EDM calendar, is becoming hotly contested, as the festival has revealed plans to move from Bayfront Park to Virginia Key.
Rapture Electronic Music Festival claim they have already signed a contract with Virginia Key for the dates in question – 29th to 31st March 2019. Moreover, residents of Virginia Key are organising against Ultra, showing strong opposition to such a festival of their size moving in.
The Miami City Commission of Planning and Zoning voted against an extension of Ultra Miami’s license for Bayfront Park, where the festival had taken place since 2001, in September of this year, leaving a search for a new venue.
Revealed in documents uncovered by the Miami Herald, city officials were discussing with Ultra the use of Miami Marine Stadium and Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, within Virginia Key, as the new location.
Documents showed the agreement would see a minimum of $1.4m paid by Ultra for the license, with no set end date to the agreement, with a provisional review in 2024.
However, Youssef Khamis, CEO and Founder of Rapture Electronic Music Festival, said, “We have a signed contract with Historic Virginia Key Beach Park dating back to March 2018 for 29th March and 30th March 2019.
“We’re very much looking forward to returning to this beautiful beachside setting for our third edition.”
Residents of Virginia Key organised an emergency meeting to organise in opposition to Ultra this week, calling the event “absolutely horrible” and “disruptive”, according to the Miami Herald.
“We only heard about it by seeing it in [the Miami Herald],” said Key Biscayne Mayor, Mayra Lindsay. “We didn’t even get the courtesy of being told directly.”
The Miami Commission is due to hear Ultra’s proposal for use of Virginia Key on 15th November.
Ultra Miami won the “Best Festival” in our Best of North America 2018 awards this year.