Commissioner Against Ultra Music Festival
Ultra Music Festival, the world’s most prominent electronic music festival, will be expanding to to weekend in Bayfront Park Amphitheater. Although it did receive approval before, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff introduced a resolution disapproving of the added weekend.
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.
Commissioner Sarnoff believes Ultra attendees deserve little respect because, according to him, “about 70 to 8- percent of these kids are on some sort of mind-altering drug.” That is a big number.
Bryan May, a representative for Ultra, pleaded the festival’s case. In one weekend, brings about 160,000 people to the community and it does have its challenges. Disruptions are bound to occur with an event of this size, but it also has tremendous economic benefit. May says that “we have heard testimony over and over again from downtown restaurants, businesses, clubs, etc… that this is their best weekend of the year.”
Sarnoff, however, continues to deny its positive economic impact.
Holly Lewis, owner of Fiesta Cruises at Bayside Marketplace, says that people will not be going to ride the boats if they cannot get to the designated parking areas and that is complicated even more by having hundreds of people on the street.
What Lewis does not seem to understand is that the streets will indeed be open during the week. They will only be close during two weekends, but that does not mean that businesses have to close. Plus, 4 days of closed streets out of the 365 we have every year will not do much damage. They are, however, the four most successful days of the year for many other businesses.
The meeting concluded with Commissioner Frank Carollo moving to defer the vote on the resolution for January 10.
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