On 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 declaring light’s out 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.
“I’m relieved that we are not going to have to deal with Ultra,” said Mayor Mike Davey following the announcement.
“There were a lot of logistical options I’m assuming they would continue to have to overcome.”
“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.”
After the first night of the concert March 29, attendees posted mock messages online 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 on all three show nights.
Some claimed the producer of the event was Billy McFarlane, of the failed Fyre Festival in the Caribbean infamy.
Davey received a conciliatory phone call from city of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez shortly after the delivery of the Ultra license agreement resignation letter to the city that 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.
Suarez, whose district includes Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, has been vocally opposed to the location, as reported in Islander News. He said both he and the city mayor agreed it could be “one and done” if the concert had overwhelming issues.
“We are making efforts to direct and help find them an alternative site,” said Suarez.
Ultra was less than euphoric about the Virginia Key location, as stated in an IN Q&A interview with chair of the Virginia Key Advisory Board, Joe Rasco.
The 21 year old Miami electronic dance music festival was forced to find a new location within four months this year after being booted out of Bayfront Park for complaints from the residents.
These were similar to the same complaints read into the record at the city meeting April 11 by Commissioner Joe Carollo after the Virginia Key relocation from residents in Key Biscayne, Brickell, the Roads, and the Grove.
The Homestead Speedway is rumored to be their possible new home. A recommendation presented by Village Council Member Brett Moss and others in previously published discussions, so that attendees can leisurely camp out and party with impunity.
Attorney David Winker, who represented the Brickell Homeowner’s 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. 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.”