Ultra Music Festival will have a home in Bayfront Park for at least the next five years.
The popular music festival, which has become an annual staple of Miami’s electronic music scene since 2001, announced Thursday that it has reached a new agreement with the city agency that manages downtown parks to remain in Bayfront Park until 2027.
A statement shared by event organizers reads: “Bayfront Park will be the official home of Ultra Music Festival for the next five years, thanks to the Miami City Commission unanimously approving an agreement between the festival and the Bayfront Park Management Trust.” .
In March, the three-day festival made an exciting post-pandemic return to Bayfront Park with performances from Kygo, Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Sofi Tucker, David Guetta, and many more big names in the EDM community.
The return to Bayfront Park marked the first time Ultra had been downtown since 2018, a hiatus that involved a highly publicized drama between the event’s organizers and the Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA), which represents approximately 30,000 residents who live in condominiums in the Central Business District and the Park West Neighborhood not far from the park.
Ultra had called Bayfront Park home from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2012 to 2018. But the festival’s relationship with downtown residents reached a breaking point with the 2018 event, and a few months later, the California City Commission Miami unanimously voted against offering Ultra a five-year lease starting in 2019. Ultra relocated the 2019 party to nearby Virginia Key Beach Park and Miami Marine Stadium Flex Park, a move that resulted in even more headaches for the festival, largely due to poor transportation logistics and public outcry from environmentalists.
After months of negotiations beginning in the summer of 2020, Ultra and DNA have finally settled their differences, confirming in June 2021 that the festival would return to Bayfront in 2022.
“This development finally opens the door for a long overdue ongoing working relationship between the parties,” Ultra spokesman Ray Martinez said in a May 2021 announcement. it gave both parties a chance to take a breather, so to speak, and sit down at the table without the imminent event looming on either side. We really try to work on the solution so that we can coexist.”
As reported by The New Herald, Miami commissioners voted unanimously last week in favor of a new revocable license agreement between Ultra and the Bayfront Park Management Trust, which manages downtown’s waterfront parks. The trust is chaired by former Miami Mayor and current City Commissioner Joe Carollo.
According to the Herald, the terms of the contract include a 4 percent annual increase in the $2 million rental fee to use the park beginning with the 2024 event. (The 2020 agreement called for a 3 percent annual increase with a baseline of $2 million). The trust board will reportedly have control over the proceeds, and Carollo has stated that the funds will go toward maintenance and improvements to the waterfront parks.
The new agreement also includes a clause that allows either party to terminate the lease within a period of two months after the event each year.
A limited number of tickets for the 2023 event, scheduled for March 24-26, will go on sale next Tuesday, May 17 at 11am via ultramusicfestival.com.
Visit again New TimesFriday, Saturday and Sunday coverage of this year’s Ultra, which welcomed 165,000 attendees over the weekend of March 25-27 for a triumphant, sold-out return after two years.