Ultra Ban on Miami City Commission Agenda

Ultra-Music-Festival_Ban_Vote_Miami_2014.jpg
Photo by George Martinez

Chaos. Gatecrashing. Drug use. Graffiti. Crime.

In the wake of Ultra Music Festival 2014, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff have hyperbolically enumerated the evils of the EDM fest in pursuit of a city-wide ban.

There were two undeniable tragedies at this year's fest: the trampling of security guard Erica Mack and the death of 21-year-old attendee Adonis Escoto.

But in support of their resolution "prohibiting the Bayfront Park Management Trust from holding the Ultra Music Festival in the future," Regalado and Sarnoff have slipped into scaremongering.

UPDATE Ultra Music Festival is fighting the proposed ban with a petition to "Keep UMF in Miami."

UPDATE #2 The vote on the Ultra ban has been delayed. Now the Miami City Commission won't discuss the EDM festival's future till April 24.

See also: In Defense of Ultra Music Festival

Ultra-Music-Festival_Ban_Vote_Miami_2014a.jpg
Photo by George Martinez

Set to be discussed, considered, and voted upon during tomorrow's Miami City Commission meeting, the mayor and commissioner's proposed legislation uses a "breach of contract" accusation against Ultra as the basis for seeking a ban.

Among Ultra's other crimes, as listed in the resolution:

-Resulting in "84 documented arrests and 153 documented calls for Fire-Rescue service"

-Placing "unparalleled strain on the City of Miami's ("City's") public safety services"

-Allowing "attendees without tickets, through no fault of the City, [to storm] the perimeter fence to gain illegal access to the Festival, without regard for human life or safety, and the ensuing mob trampled a security guard, [Erica Mack], working at the event"

-Failing to heed "City officials [who] ordered the organizers of the Festival to reinforce and increase fencing at the location where the stampede occurred"

-Contributing to "drug use, graffiti, and other crimes that continue to have a deleterious effect on the City, and in particular, the Downtown area"

-Leading to the deaths of "a 21 year old [Adonis Escoto, who] died in a parked car after attending the Festival" and "a 20 year old [Anthony Cassano, who] allegedly died from a drug overdose at the Festival [in 2013]"

Of all these arguments, the only valid ones are those concerning the allegedly insufficient fencing, which may have provided an opportunity for the gatecrashing incident that caused Erica Mack's injuries.

All of Regalado and Sarnoff's other assertions are bunk. The arrests, ambulance calls, drug use, and graffiti should be expected when dealing with any weekend-long crowd of 150,000 people.

As for the fatalities during Ultra, there is no reasonable way to blame the festival for drug deaths. The use of street drugs and their consequences is a personal responsibility issue. (Also important to note: It's still unknown what exactly led to Adonis Escoto dying in that car, where he was left alone to "sober up" by his friends.)

Of course, though, the mayor and the commissioner are determined to convince the people of Miami, by any means necessary, that "it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City to discontinue this event." In fact, Sarnoff has even tried to make his point by producing a clip reel of "Ultra-goers' worst behavior" (using YouTube as his primary source) for Channel 10 news.

But the main impediment to their Ultra ban isn't public opinion. It's the fact that the festival has the contracted right to host its event at Bayfront Park through 2018.

See also: Ultra Plans "Comprehensive Security Review" in Response to Security Guard's Trampling

Location Info

Map

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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92 comments
Lilypad4
Lilypad4

My nephew died last year at Ultra and one life lost is one too many!

Elio D Green
Elio D Green

I've seen more violence at Calle Ocho! Sign the petition! Vote Tomasito out and back to La Cubanisima.

Richey Marous III
Richey Marous III

They might aswell as ban anyone from ever going to Miami and just make it a ghost town.

UltraOUT
UltraOUT

There are so many things to clear up here:


1. Urban week is in South Beach and it is also a non sanctioned event. City of Miami Beach with the help of the 2012 police commissioner made it totally undesirable to come to Miami Beach for Urban week, by suspending liquor licenses, placing last calls, pulling event permits for pool parties and so on.

Now that week is no different then a light winter music conference.


2. No one that lives in Downtown wants Ultra, unless you are an 18 year old college student wasting all your money to go to Ultra.

We are parents, business owners and employees living in Downtown Miami. 

WE ARE NOT ON VACATION... We have a life and we want the people that come down here have some respect.


Starting off spring season, I can't take my son to Bayfront park to play ball, or to the play ground. 
All the yoga sessions are canceled.

Its a public park for god sake, we all contribute to this are and we are not allowed to access it for 3 - 4 weeks.


All the money ultra brings benefit themselves and the Bayfront Park Management Trust.

Nobody asked us if we want them there!!!

MOVE IT OUT... Go somewhere on the field.

Ultra wants to compare themselves to Tomorrow Land, so build tents on a field in Homestead and leave us alone.


You can sign all the petitions you want, but we signed ours today, all residents of the 18 main buildings in the surrounding area and we are the voice of Downtown.

TK Small
TK Small

Chaos ,drug use , and graffiti go on everyday in Miami with or without ultra.

Craig Chester
Craig Chester

Regardless of the type of event, closing a public space for exclusive ticket-holders for nearly a month (between setup, event, breakdown) is questionable and residents should have more of a say. Residents need a better idea of where all this money from Ultra is actually going within the community.

Constanza Maute
Constanza Maute

Then they need to ban art Basel miami and Memorial Day weekend too lol! Same party different crowds

Rafael Velez Jr
Rafael Velez Jr

Politicians always want to shut down everything. No freedom at all

Thor Karlsen
Thor Karlsen

Take bath salts and assume your ultimate form!

southernfootballmia
southernfootballmia

So lets cancel every major event! Calle Ocho, Baseball games, football, basketball, boating. People die in all kind of events. Thomas Regalado is old and not in touch with his city, he needs to along with the other short cited politicians. Just dumb un-educated people who buy their votes

Deni Quinn
Deni Quinn

The arrests, ambulance calls, drug use, and graffiti should be expected when dealing with any weekend-long crowd of 150,000 people. HMMMMMMMMM well thats food for thought !!

Danny Arango
Danny Arango

These are just a bunch of out of touch politicians who are more about boosting their profile then actually doing a service for the community.

rey0
rey0

So your telling me the kids would have overdosed on drugs if they did not attend Ultra that weekend !  That is a dumb remark to make.  I bet you 1 million dollars if those two kids did not go to Ultra that weekend, they would still be alive today !

John Serrano
John Serrano

Wow. Some people just think with closed minds.

Zero-One
Zero-One

You damn kids, stay out of my lawn!! GARH GARH GARH

Tim Dearing
Tim Dearing

Fucking good... Stupid ass fucking electronic dickbag music

Jeffrey Wilkinson
Jeffrey Wilkinson

"Chaos. Gatecrashing. Drug use. Graffiti. Crime." I thought the headline was about a City Commission meeting.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

And what about Calle Ocho? That has more incidents and IMO is more of a burden.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

Are they getting rid of Memorial Day weekend too? I figured that would be more of a concern.

Pipo Milian
Pipo Milian

In a single concert at Hialeah Racetrack there are more incidents than in a weekend at Ultra!...

Charlie J. D'Angelo
Charlie J. D'Angelo

I really do not like Miami when this crap is going on..................I really hope they SHUT THEM DOWN.........

Reuben DeOro
Reuben DeOro

Ultra should leave that dirty ass downtown & go find a REAL venue & stop putting money in these little corrupt officials pockets anyways. Downtown is DISGUSTING filled with bums, scavenger taxi's & god knows how many diseases.

Rossy Aleman
Rossy Aleman

They act like Miami is a saint city. There's murders overdose graffiti trampling shootings beatings burglary and other types of crimes and violence that happens every single freakin day. This is a party city. It's how Miami makes their money. If you people who complain about it don't like it then move the fuck on.

Gustavo Peña
Gustavo Peña

Dudes pls make better news this is just gossip. Ultra makes Miami a ton of money and we all know how corrupted this city is.

Dave Basora
Dave Basora

Okay to everyone comparing Urban weekend and Ultra, y'all ARE aware they're produced in different cities, right? What the city of Miami will do or not do isn't necessarily what the city of Miami beach will do. That said, I still believe that unless the mayor of Miami and it's commissioners find an event or other way to replace the $70+ million ultra brings in, it ain't going anywhere

Didi Dopico
Didi Dopico

I agree with Lawrence Srail....How exactly is this scaremongering?? As the City Manager, why is it wrong of him to request to ban this event? Or, myself as a native of Miami and abiding citizen of this town, I have the right to ask for a ban of whatever event/s that cause harm, chaos, and even damage to our city. Especially those that cause chaos and harm to our citizens. Just because it brings a lot of money into the city, doesn't make it right people. I respect everyone's comments/opinions, but I think they're a bit irresponsible. Oh, and I also agree, we should get rid of Calle Ocho...it's never been the same since it's inception. All Trash.

Regaladosux
Regaladosux

Go ahead, ban it.  I can tell you right now that Chicago is fully ready to take on that cash cow. 

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Last year to get a 2nd weekend more money exchanged hands, so it's not beneath Miami officials to be paid ? The deaths are going to be way more expensive than whatever else happened prior. Whatever insurance should cover this ?

Tu Madre
Tu Madre

Yes by all means, let's loose the biggest money maker in the city so we can allllll pay more taxes.

TO DoubleDs
TO DoubleDs

Chicago, Dallas, San Fran, Milwaukee's Summerfest, would love to take the money that Ultra brings.

305bailbondsman
305bailbondsman

@UltraOUT  I'm pretty certain that the money Ultra pays allows the park to operate and offer "free" yoga the other 49 weeks of the year.


Would you like the Heat and the AAA and the Arts Center to move to Homestead as well? 


With all due respect, you moved your family downtown. If you don't like the vibrancy that accompanies a thriving city, perhaps you are more suited to suburban life?

clubluis
clubluis

@UltraOUT  well ultra was there first, you had no idea that downtown had that event since 2001? maybe before your building stood there in construction.

UltraOUT
UltraOUT

Art Basel is in an unpopulated industrial area!

rriguez77
rriguez77

@rey0  most likely they would have had an "ultra" party somewhere else and done the drugs there...they dont need a certain place to do them.

UltraOUT
UltraOUT

@305bailbondsman @UltraOUT  Oh and the yoga is lead by private individuals that started it and hundreds of people joined them.

there is no money involved for no one.


This is not about money, our only benefit of Ultra not happening in Downtown is so we don't have to leave, find alternative routs or deal with stupid people on the streets.

UltraOUT
UltraOUT

@305bailbondsman @UltraOUT  With all due respect, I can see you don't live down here.

First off, I didn't move here with my family, I started my family here. I'm in my mid 20's, so suburban life won't do.


We don't care about the Heat and AAA, because it is temporary, and we are talking about 2x 45 min before and after the games. You have the ability to avoid it by not getting into that area on the game days.

Adrianna Arscht Center barely impacts. Even with the corporate run in downtown, there is only a temporary (2 hour) traffic closure.


My opinion might be a little extreme, but you need to live here to know how it feels. Anyways, it is an inconvenience to the residents.



UltraOUT
UltraOUT

@clubluis @UltraOUT  actually Ultra has been there since 2000 after they got kicked out of South Beach in 1999 at their inception year.


Miami allowed them to have the festival at a location that was far away from any houses. 

You are right, my building came in 2005 and others followed.

Downtown was still a dangerous area filled with homeless people, mugging, stabbing and shootings.

We the residents of Downtown made it possible for all those businesses to even operate and have customers. We tolerate so many things down here, multiple concerts, runs, smaller festivals, basketball games, parades.

At the end of the day I love EDM, but it has no place in the middle of a residential area.


How would you like it if there was a festival in from of your door and all you hear is a bass 4 days before the festival and 3 days during the festival, screaming people, fights next to your child, underage kids throwing up in front of you.


UltraOUT
UltraOUT

@305bailbondsman  That is so great that you think this way.

you live in the City of Miami?

which had 5 Districts.

I am talking about downtown Miami.

Between 2nd biscayne and 14th biscayne.


one weekend its the Ultra festival, 26 days its the heat, 3 runs, one book fair, 20-30 concerts, reggae festival, rap festival, Y100 concert, 99jamz concert.


and new for the past few months, 15000 bikes closing downtown for over 3 hours on the last friday of the month.

nice for people that want to go home.


If you don't live within 2nd and 14th of Biscayne Blvd, you don't know how it feels!

305bailbondsman
305bailbondsman

I do live in the City of Miami and I wish we had a few more inconveniences with an $80 million dollar economic impact.

I am sorry that for one weekend a year the music keeps you up until midnight on 2 nights and 11pm on Sunday. The other 51 weekends of the year, the homeless people and drug addicts in the park pee and defecate quietly.

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