Ultra Festival said to owe city money for unpaired damages to Virginia Key
Ultra may be moving back downtown, but the fallout on Virginia Key continues.
The city of Miami sent a letter to Ultra on August 6 regarding outstanding repairs to damages that occurred during the Ultra Festival on Virginia Key last March.
The repair list includes: damages to both the Miami Rowing Center and Miami Marine Stadium areas utilized by Ultra, including replacing grass, patching holes, repairing asphalt, concrete and curbs, removing posts and barricades, replacing broken grates, and repairing fencing and gates.
“Please repair the items listed immediately,” reads the letter from Daniel Rotenberg, director of the city’s department of real estate & asset management, to Sandra York, general counsel of Event Entertainment Group; the corporate entity that puts on the Ultra Electronic Music Festival.
The letter was a follow up to an earlier one sent May 7 requesting that Ultra make the repairs by June 1. The May 7 letter was sent to Ultra the day before Ultra terminated the revocable license agreement.
“To date, the repairs have not been made by Ultra,” Rotenberg wrote.
The revocable license agreement’s section 9.2 requires that Ultra must repair all damages identified by the city.
Neither Ultra nor the city responded to requests for comment.
It is unclear if Ultra is denying responsibility for the damages, or arguing that its repair obligations ceased upon termination. Whether the $250,000 security deposit paid by Ultra to the city has been returned to Ultra (or will be used to repair stated damages) is also unknown.
The outstanding repairs follow a number of lawsuits against Ultra after the Virginia Key festival for unpaid invoices to businesses that provided services at the three day event, including: a stated vendor that was owed $280,000 for a portable dock, and another vendor owed $28,000 for providing piping to supply water to firefighters at the festival.
Although the vendors did not respond to requests for comment, court records appear to show that lawsuits filed against Ultra in connection with these amounts due were settled.
The decision was contentious, with many downtown residents opposed because of the noise, traffic, anticipated damage to Bayfront Park, as well as a late controversial shift in legal opinion from the city attorney.
It contradicted Victoria Mendez's previous precedent and now allowed for a reduction in supporting commissioner votes necessary from four to three; allowing for Ultra to return.
Another sticking point was the fact that Ultra still owed the city approximately $500,000 for fire, police, and trash services. That amount was disputed by Ultra. The city agreed to reduce it to $308,000 to be paid in installments over the vehement objections of Commissioner Joe Carollo.
David Winker, Esq. was counselor to the Brickell Homeowner’s Association in their lawsuit against the city of Miami for suggested violation of their issued license agreement to Ultra Electronic Music Festival's March 2019 event on Virginia Key.
Heated words exchanged at the July 25 city commission meeting when Ultra was approved back at Bayfront Park:
“You’re not negotiating for the city of Miami! You’re negotiating for Ultra,” City Commissioner Joe Carollo said to Assistant City Manager Joe Napoli.
“We always work in the best interest of the city,” Napoli responded.
“You’re a disgrace, sir!” Carollo then said to Napoli.