Ultra Music Festival Canceled

2020 Ultra Fest canceled due to mandated coronavirus precautions. Calle Ocho street festival also canceled. 

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While no longer directly impacted by the Ultra Music Festival, as was the case in 2019 when it was held in Virginia Key, Key Biscayne officials recalled the challenges as the 2020 festival, which was moved back to Bayfront Park in Miami, was officially postponed this week due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The 22nd edition of Ultra Music Festival, originally scheduled for March 20-22 will be postponed to March 26-28, 2021.

The postponement was officially due to the Florida governor’s declaration of a public health emergency and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance for COVID-19, which made it “impossible for the city to provide access to Bayfront Park at this time.”

Event organizers requested the move from the Virginia Key venue after the 2019 event. Key Biscayne Mayor Mike Davey said last year’s festival created severe traffic problems, leaving many festival goers having to walk back to the mainland, creating a safety concern. In addition, Key Biscayne residents and visitors often were delayed in traffic jams, especially when a lane was blocked to accommodate for those on foot.

“The logistics were just so difficult. It put a lot of strain on the systems,’’ he said.

Davey considers the postponement “a shame” for the 2020 event organizers and patrons. “I understand why the City of Miami did it but I also understand the frustrations on the other side,’’ he said.

Key Biscayne Village Council member Katie Petros said the 2019 festival had a positive economic impact but was marred by the congestion it caused. She also said Virginia Key could be better utilized in a more environmental and eco-friendly way.

Petros said that event organizers handled noise problems better than in years past, but in the end it was the traffic issues that prompted their request to move to another location. “They had some real logistical challenges,’’ she said.

The announcement -- “with a heavy heart” -- on ultramusicfestival.com said the decision was caused by “an unprecedented issue” not to be taken lightly.

“We must continue to defer to the authorities for guidance. Ultimately, there is no higher priority for us than the health, safety and physical well-being of each of you, together with everyone else involved in the production of the event,’’ according to the statement.

All ticket purchasers will be contacted by email on Monday regarding next steps.

Additional event cancellations or postponements in the area:

  • The Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce announced the Families in Paradise event, scheduled for Sunday, March 15, has been canceled. The message from the Chamber as follows: DUE TO PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES CONCERNING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19), THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
  • The City of Miami and Kiwanis of Little Havana announced the Calle Ocho event, also scheduled for March 15, has been canceled. City of Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes confirmed this on a Tweet, posted on Friday March 6 at 8:45 a.m. "The safety and health of our residents is always our first priority. For this reason, the @CityofMiami and the organizers of Calle Ocho Festival have agreed to cancel this year's event.#Miami #Manolo4oneMiami"

If you are aware of any other event cancellation, please let us know. Email editor@islandernews.com or post on our Facebook page, @islandernews

Some large events in our area NOT CANCELLED, include:

  • CARNAVAL ON THE MILE. According to NBC 6, event organizers Kiwanis of Little Havana have confirmed that the Carnaval on the Mile event scheduled for this weekend (March 7th and 8th), will go on as scheduled in Coral Gables.
  • MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FAIR & EXPOSITION. The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition is not being postponed or cancelled. The event runs from March 12th to April 5th.