Ultra Music Festival 2013: Commissioner Wants To Kill Second Weekend Because Attendees Are On "Mind-Altering Drugs"

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Photo by Ian Witlen
Marc Sarnoff is not amused by Diplo's beats.
Yesterday, Crossfade broke the news that Commissioner Marc Sarnoff had introduced a resolution "disapproving" of the second weekend of Ultra Music Festival.

We still don't entirely understand whether the commission could actually force the festival to cancel its second weekend, and repeated messages Crossfade left with the city attorney and Sarnoff haven't been returned. But minutes from a city meeting held on December 13 show that the resolution was brought after Ultra Music Festival requested that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) close the northbound lanes of Biscayne Boulevard from Chopin Plaza to Northeast Sixth Avenue.

Sarnoff makes it clear that he doesn't have a ton of respect for Ultra concert goers, telling the festivals organizers that he thinks "about 70 to 80 percent of these kids are on some sort of mind-altering drug."

UPDATE Tommie Sunshine lashes out against City of Miami commissioner Marc Sarnoff's resolution "disapproving" of Ultra's second weekend, saying: "way to demonize the visitors of your city who make you money to cover your own asses."

UPDATE #2 Ultra 2013 organizers willing to work with city on downtown traffic, security concerns.

UPDATE #3 Trainspotting author and Miami resident Irvine Welsh defends Ultra: "I'm disappointed in Miami, the fest breathed life into a dead downtown."

UPDATE #4 Marc Sarnoff's spokesperson says commissioner doesn't want to "shut down" Ultra.

UPDATE #5 Miami mayor Tomas Regalado says: "One [Ultra Music Festival] weekend is enough ... people complain about the kids."

UPDATE #6 The resolution has been voted down. And City of Miami commissioners have approved Ultra Music Festival 2013's second weekend.

See also:
- Ultra 2013: City of Miami to Vote on Resolution "Disapproving" of Second Festival Weekend
- Ultra Fest Generates $79 Million Annually for Miami Economy: Can EDM Save the Country?
-Ultra Music Festival 2013 Expands to "Two Big Weekends!"
-Ultra Music Festival 2013 Announces Phase 1 Lineup


In the meeting, Bryan May, a representative for Ultra, attempted to plead the festival's case before the commission.

"I guess I should start by saying, we certainly [heard] testimony at your meeting here about a month ago with regard to a number of issues that were -- you know, that dealt with some of the disruptions that do occur of an event this size," said May at the meeting. "I think we should all just be mindful, this is an event that generates -- you know, on one weekend, it will bring in about 160,000 people to the community, and it does have its challenges. It does have its disruptions, but it also has a tremendous economic benefit. And we have heard testimony over and over again from downtown restaurants, businesses, clubs that it's something that they all -- quite frankly, we had testimony at the DDA that this was their best weekend of the year. So there are benefits to the event. "

But Sarnoff doesn't seem to want to play nice with Ultra, denying both its economic impact and saying it's a disruption to downtown Miami.

"I happen to have an office in the Miami Center. We average about 30 people a day either urinating, defecating, or throwing up in our building, in the traffic garage," said Sarnoff. "It's all captured on video. If you want to see it, we have it for you. I surmise that they're going to somehow get somebody to clean that up and that'll be paid and that satisfies somehow.

"About 70 to 80 percent of these kids are on some sort of mind-altering drug. You've been very, very lucky. You put two of these weekends together in a row; I don't think you're going to be so lucky, but that's for each Commissioner's conscience. If money's that important to you, you'll vote the way you're going to vote. "

Downtown business owners also came out to testify against the festival.

"Ultra is huge, but you're going to close down Biscayne Boulevard for two weekends on north bound," said Holly Lewis, owner of Fiesta Cruises which operates out of Bayside Marketplace. "Well, people aren't going to come down and ride the boats when they can't get down there to get parking and that there's a couple hundred thousand people in the street."

The meeting on the resolution concluded with Commissioner Frank Carollo moving to defer the vote on the resolution for January 10 -- this Thursday.

And that's where we are now folks.

Crossfade is still awaiting comments from Ultra's organizers and Sarnoff.

M City Commission 96-107

[h/t TalkNightlife]

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

Location Info

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Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Music


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58 comments
tomatosos2000
tomatosos2000

thanks again modonna , and your stupid stunt last year for aviciis opening.. you def opened up the eyes to the world

Omar Ghaffar
Omar Ghaffar

The main economy here is tourism based. I'm surprised by this move, since the local economy still has major problems

Jamie Cutrone
Jamie Cutrone

Miami can take a break from blowing yams and roll face....

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

I know lawyers and soon to be doctors like the some one on this post that listens to EDM are they drug addicts NOOOOO Think before you speak

Cin Dee Serra
Cin Dee Serra

But I support this outrage, yet let's be real people... They're not canceling anything- miami makes millions upon millions of dollars that weekend- and money always wins. (well- besides in our group title)

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

lol thats what u got from alllll of thissss

Cin Dee Serra
Cin Dee Serra

Dayyvid Matt U tagged my name which I appreciate however- I'm not even going to ultra and I think ur trying to give me a stroke w the amount of misspelled words on here lol

Russ Sforz
Russ Sforz

Honestly I'm speechless about this whole thing now. They are now acuising us of being drug addicts also. I really don't know what to say besides the fact that I am beyond disgusted with the commissioner of Miami.

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

Even if its one week, the whole week is still filled with us anyways. You have one of the biggest scenes in the usa. Deal with a couple more days Nd alot o money

Nick Chiaramonte
Nick Chiaramonte

Phil... Believe it or my everyone is not on drugs. I have met many people who don't take drugs and go for what is present at these festivals that is absent in the real world. The love shown between complete strangers, coming together for a common purpose that is free from the type of judgement that you are bringin to this convo. Is it wrong that hotel prices more than triple the weeks of ultra. So there is an example of an industry that is making more than 300% more than they do on average weeks. We are not zombies, we need food so there's another. There are always idiots in a group , especially one of that magnitude however your points make you sound like a fuckin uneducated dickhead

Elizabeth Risk
Elizabeth Risk

1/2 of the attendees are FLYING in .. and we certainly aren't flying with drugs.. so if we're on them.. they CAME FROM THE STREETS of YOUR city!... its a warm part of the country with beaches and nightlife during spring break.. regardless your gonna be swarmed with tourism.. you dont like it.. move to the middle of the country where noone wants to visit!!

Daniel Boguszewski
Daniel Boguszewski

Phil please. I don't eat fast food. I send $1500 on 4 day trip. No one is spending any cash. Please DJ, promoters, TV media. Rent a cars, hotels, taxies. No people just do all those things for free right.

Kristina Zoo Marie
Kristina Zoo Marie

Drug wise I feel him on it to bc look what happened these past months with kids passing away and such if anything they should change the age

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

This isnt just about ultra anymore, this is about out music and lifestyle.

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

philip ramirez and sebatian what happen where are you ??

Roly Gomez Puelles
Roly Gomez Puelles

Karate Martha Arleen Burgos Stephen Johanson Lynnette RaveGoddess Ariel Vazquez Elizabeth Risk Mark Miloski

Kristina Zoo Marie
Kristina Zoo Marie

Im going to be honest this doesnt relle bother me bc it was always originally 1 weekend and never 2

Perry Adago
Perry Adago

its the fucking noobs. mayb ultra shouldnt b all ages then

Perry Adago
Perry Adago

its the kids who take too much and get lost or od

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

Abe Timsah Olivia Leigh Michael Elezovic

Roly Gomez Puelles
Roly Gomez Puelles

Miami has a history of illicit drugs on its own...this here is pretty much just an outrage on a music festival....!!! if you want to talk from a business stand..THE CITY OF MIAMI IS GONNA GET PAID ALL SMALL BUSINESS WILL FLOURISH DUE TO THE TOURISM!!

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

Stephen Johanson Nandan Patel Amanda Santillo Kristina Zoo Marie

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

Russ Sforz Mike Sfors Jeffrey Phelan Joey Camarda Andrew Vinas Jonathan Vinas Mike Marinello Michael Sierzant Asuka Meiki Devin Kulka

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

Kendall Childress Nick Pezzello Nick Perez Nick Chiaramonte Perry Adago

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

Roman Delgado Russ Sforz Roly Gomez Puelles Elizabeth Risk Jared Espino Jason Kitchen

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

Kevin Cappucio Kevin Ng Jillian Eve Jillian Marie Daniel Boguszewski Cin Dee Serra

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

this basically just opened up a holy war since you say we are all on so called drugs

Dayyvid Matt
Dayyvid Matt

Sebastian Antonio Leon yea 100% so your saying im a drug addict that i take drugs like your bath salts just because im listening to house music?!?!?! woww you are naive and sadly mistaken. Grow up

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

Thank you Dayyvid Matt for summing that up for people.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

I don't think the few "influential residents" in the area, will put up with 2 weekends, anyway... U push the issue further, these same residents will lawyer up, shipping the festival to Tampa, Orlando or NYC!

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

Restaurants packed?! Please, these kids dedicate all their money to the concert tickets and whatever's left, to munchies in the nearby gas stations, Wolfson's McDonalds or the new 7-11s in the area. ONE WEEKEND's enough.

Jorge Shicken
Jorge Shicken

yes, mainly beer. let people do what they want.

Jay Lara
Jay Lara

untz untz untz Ultra untz untz untz Festival

tommiesunshine
tommiesunshine

I suggest that Marc Sarnoff and the City of Miami take a long hard look at their 24 hour liquor licenses & their open cocaine port before worrying about two weekends in March. that being said, way to demonize the visitors of your city to cover your own asses.

Michael del Vice
Michael del Vice

Seriously???.....Its downtown Miami, what hobo zombie isn't walking around on mind altering drugs... the city makes ZERO money off them. We probably spend money throwing them in jail or providing them with healthcare. The FACT is YES we will have a ton of drifters once the space carnival is over with...but Taxi drivers make a killing that weekend, clubs are slammed, restaurants are packed, music is everywhere you walk. Not one other city in the US will be making money like miami on those two weekend. I think we should give the 2 weekend shit a try, Miami's people are learning to avoid those areas like 107th Ave during the Youth Fair....little by little broskies

Louie Hern
Louie Hern

Maybe terrible music has something to do with it?

bangout
bangout

Yes they are... but the money for the City, County, State is too good.

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