Ultra pulls out

One of the many environmentally themed posters along the Virginia Key concert site route put up by Ultra the weekend of the concert.

Photo by Raquel Garcia/ISLANDER NEWS

This afternoon, Wednesday May 8, a day before the city of Miami Commission was set to likely renew Ultra’s license agreement for at least another year, City Hall unexpectedly received a letter from Event Entertainment Group saying goodbye to the party on Virginia Key.

Ultra stated on Twitter that they are heeding their fans’ dissatisfaction (reported in Islander News following the event that they in fact would likely be the ultimate decision makers about Ultra’s future) and cancelling their contract with the city to hold the event again on the barrier island in 2020.

“There were a lot of logistical options I’m assuming they would continue to have to overcome,” said Key Biscayne Mayor Mike Davey following the announcement.

“I’m relieved that we are not going to have to deal with Ultra.”

“I understand Miami is going to have to put events on Virginia Key, that’s their land and they have every right to do so. I appreciate that this has begun a new dialogue between municipalities. We have a lot of issues we can collaborate positively on now and everybody work together.”

After the first night of the concert and throughout the ensuing days, attendees posted mock messages on Twitter calling it “The Ultra 5 K Run and Walk” due to logistical departure challenges in a failed transportation plan that had thousands of revelers hoofing it out of the key beginning around 2am.

Some claimed the producer of the event was Billy McFarlane, of the failed Fyre Concert in the Caribbean infamy.

Davey received a phone call from city of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez shortly after the delivery of the letter to the city on Wednesday afternoon.

“God works in mysterious ways,” County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, (the father of the mayor) said to Islander News immediately after the news broke.

“The mayor called me a few minutes ago and gave me the news.”

Suarez, whose district includes Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, has been vocally opposed to the location, as reported in Islander News.

“We are making efforts to direct and help find them an alternative site.”

Ultra was less than euphoric about the Virginia Key location, as also reported in a Q&A interview in Islander News with chair of the Virginia Key Advisory Board, Joe Rasco.

Ultra was forced to find a new location with little advance planning after being booted out of Bayfront Park for complaints from the residents similar to the same complaints emailed to the city from Key Biscayne, Brickell, and the Grove.

The Homestead Speedway is rumored to be their possible new home. A recommendation presented by Village Council Brett Moss and others in previously published discussions so that attendees can leisurely camp out and revel with impunity.

Attorney David Winker, who represented the Brickell Homeowners Association against the city of Miami in objection to the Ultra license agreement, was not surprised by the news.

“It became clear to me through my litigation with Ultra in the past few months that there was only one group that wanted Ultra on Virginia Key…the city of Miami.”

“I hope Ultra can find a great new venue. They really are a wonderful group of people that are trying their best. I wish them the best of luck finding a new home here in South Florida that works for them and their fans for years to come.”