Cranky Old Men Plot Death Of Ultra Music Festival

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Miami’s 66-year-old mayor Tomás Regalado along with 54-year-old commissioner Marc Sarnoff were waiting for an excuse to call for the ban of Ultra Music Festival from the city, and they got it when a security guard was knocked over and injured by a few kids who tried to sneak into the event. Regalado and Sarnoff said that they anticipated that an incident would occur.

The event is watched by millions of people online. It also spawns dozens of related events during Music Week which would likely go away if Ultra moves out of the city.

Regalado and Sarnoff made it clear that they disliked the music festival last year when they stopped Ultra from permanently expanding to two weekends last year.

Attendance at Ultra is over 150,000 people, and it probably takes in at least $30 million in ticket sales. Instead of calling for organizers  to implement better security, or asking for a percentage of sales to bolster city financing, the grumpy old men simply want the kids gone.



  1. Global Reach

    March 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I totally agree with this article. Clearly the mayor and Marc Sarnoff are out of touch with what Miami is. The economical stimulus ultrafest with the many other events that tag along with it, brings to the City of Miami revenue no other event generates in three days.

    • Anonymous

      March 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      I totally agree! We didn’t ban flying because of terrorism, we shored up security. These Miami politicians are way out of touch!

  2. Fernando

    March 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    No to banning, yes to relocating somewhere outside of Downtown Miami.

  3. Anonymous

    March 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    ultra belongs in downtown. I agree that stronger security measures need to be put in place with the addition of more security personnel. We wouldn’t hesitate hosting an international summit or any other international event which could create more problems look at when we hosted the summit of the americas and we want to host political conventions those can be controversial and require massive security and as a world class city all these events should be in our city center and they all cause inconveniences for all of us who live in downtown but we moved to an urban center not a sterilized version of suburban life with the looks of a downtown

    • KAT

      March 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      WELL SAID!!!

  4. Oscar

    March 31, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Why aim to be an international city with a world-class urban core then shy away from hosting major events in said city or shuffle them away from the core? Big-time events are complicated and they stress resources. Being able to handle that is what determines whether a community is “big-time” too. I can’t understand people who lament the work our downtown needs, get excited whenever something new and nice is proposed, but then come up with a million reasons why we shouldn’t follow through or should undo progress already made.

    The United Nations is in that heart of Manhattan. Traffic in NYC sucks. Do you think NYC has ever considered moving the UN out of the city? Do you think NYC ever says “let’s not build this here because it’ll make traffic worse?”

    We obviously need to consider traffic and environmental impacts of events and development but around here it seems like it’s more driven by fear of personal inconvenience than genuine civic concern. You live in a city. There are events. There is traffic. There are diverse groups of people living, working, and playing at your doorstep. If you don’t like it, that’s why they invented suburbs.

    • tommy

      April 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      I agree with the sentiment but comparing Ultra and the UN is a huge stretch.

  5. Fernando

    March 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    There’s one problem with everything you are all saying. All of that requires leadership at the city and county level and Miami, nor Downtown Authority have it. All they do is look at their interests. As long as you continue to vote for the same commissioners and city officials that do nothing to improve the city and make huge events attainable, these things are going to happen. These officials don’t stand up for anything – just their pockets. I’m sure they have many big donors that have an interest in seeing Ultra leave and they pay for their political campaigns. Also, the moment the city asks for Ultra to pay out of pocket for extra security and reimbursement of damaged property they will probably leave.

    • Anon

      April 1, 2014 at 2:39 am

      Ultra does pay out of pocket, for security. The police overtime comes from the park rental funds.

  6. Ron Beasley

    March 31, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Virginia Key would be a perfect site for the relocation of the Ultra Festival. But then the organizers would have to deal with angry Key Biscayne residents, testy Sony Open promoters and irate bicycle riders.

  7. Anonymous

    March 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Let Beckham build is stadium at the port and then move it there. It would still be “downtwon” with an insane view of the downtown skyline but yet far enough away from local residents.

    Then with it being inside the stadium, most of these issues wouldn’t be a problem.

  8. Anonymous

    March 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    From the story I have read on associated press, miami police inspected the security set up for the festival and instructed the festival operators to reinforce the fence where the trampling took place. So contrary to what Exmiami says here, the city did in fact call for an upgrade to security at the incident area. For whatever reason ultra and the Bayfront park authority who rents the space to Ultra and provides its own security contractors neglected to follow the recommendations of miami police. Also another issue I take with this post is that you said it was a “few individuals” that rushed the fence. Reports I have read put that number close to some 400 people, so I take issue in trying to minimize the recklessness of these people who trampled this poor woman like animals. I’m not arguing for or against the festival I’m just pointing out that there appears a bit of bias in this piece that swings towards the festival going on and I think it’s a bit insensitive to the victim of the trampling. Clearly both sides need to make adjustments, unfortunately the city at this point is not going to compromise. I’ve gone to Ultra in the past, haven’t been in a while, enjoyed it. But when I compare my past experience to the size and scope of it today the festival organizers are clearly being greedy and were negligent and for a festival that prides itself on peace love and music it’s pretty shameful the prices they charge and profit they make that they cut corners on things like safety. You can be pro festival while also being critical of it so exmiami doesnot have to minimize the tragedy in order to go to bat for the festival. Just saying. Hope that girl recovers.

  9. Juan Carlos Contreras

    April 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Agree that Ultra doesn’t need to leave Miami, but you also don’t need to call them “cranky old men.” They’re representing their constituents and there are many Miamians who don’t appreciate Ultra, and find it disturbing to their daily routines. It does affect business in Downtown and getting around the city.

  10. Fernando

    April 1, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Good point “anonymous”. I wonder if ExMiami writers would still use “waiting for an excuse”, “few kids”, and “security guard knocked over and injured” if it were their sister, cousin, mom, close friend or another significant other that were now in a hospital with severe brain hemorrhaging. Just better hope that “writing” of yours doesn’t come to bite you or significant other back for trying to make a joke and downplay it. Poor choice of words and inconsiderate of you.

  11. Paul SoBe

    April 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Big cities have big events. They can be complicated but the positives of Ultra far outweigh the inconvenience with traffic and security. I’d like to see discussion of other 150,000 attendee events with as FEW problems as Ultra. Arrests were down, and were for minor non-violent issues. 150,000 guests of Miami paid top dollar to attend Ultra, and behaved like adults. The trampling was NOT Ultra guests. The city policemen were eager for their overtime pay inside Ultra. Perhaps the city should have more resources outside ULTRA. We can’t expect festivals to be responsible for the madness outside their gates.
    Miami Beach’s Memorial Day Weekend should be the comparison event – fewer people, more violence, and much less money spent per guest. Are we afraid to comment on that crappy weekend? The negative publicity from Memorial Day in Miami Beach is legendary..

  12. Anonymous

    April 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    If Miami and Miami beach wants a metro mover bay link they should think about not ban ultra from downtown Miami how are they going to fund this

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