Ultra Music Festival will have a home in Bayfront Park for at least the next five years.
The popular music festival, which has become a staple of Miami’s electronic music scene since 2001, announced Thursday that it has reached a new agreement with the city’s agency that manages downtown parks to remain at Bayfront Park. until 2027.
A statement shared by event organizers reads: “Bayfront Park will be the official home of the Ultra Music Festival for the next five years, thanks to the City of Miami Commission which unanimously passed 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 Ultra’s first time downtown since 2018 – a hiatus that involved high-profile drama between event organizers and the Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA), which represents around 30,000 residents who live in condominiums in the Central Business District and Quartier Park West 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 breaking point with the 2018 event, and a few months later, the Miami City Commission voted unanimously against Ultra’s bid for a five-year lease beginning in 2019. Ultra moved the 2019 party to nearby Virginia Key Beach Park and Miami Marine Stadium Flex Park, a move that brought even more headaches for the festival, largely due to poor transport logistics and public outcry from environmentalists.
After months of negotiations that began in the summer of 2020, Ultra and DNA finally settled their differences and confirmed in June 2021 that the festival would return to Bayfront in 2022.
“This development finally opens the door for the parties to establish a long overdue, ongoing working relationship,” Ultra spokesperson Ray Martinez said in a May 2021 announcement. to be that the COVID break has given both parties an opportunity to kind of breathe, if you will, and come to the table without the impending event looming on either side. We really tried to work on the solution to be able to coexist.
As reported by Miami 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 waterfront parks. The trust is chaired by former Miami Mayor and current City Commissioner Joe Carollo.
According to Heraldthe terms of the contract include a 4% annual increase in the rental fee of $2 million to use the park starting with the 2024 event. (The 2020 agreement provided for a 3% annual increase with a base $2 million benchmark.) The trust’s board of directors would control the revenue, and Carollo said the funds would go toward maintaining and improving waterfront parks.
The new contract also includes a clause allowing either party to terminate the lease within two months of each year’s event.
A limited number of tickets for the 2023 event, scheduled for March 24-26, will go on sale next Tuesday, May 17, at 11 a.m. via ultramusicfestival.com.
Revisit new timesFriday, Saturday and Sunday coverage of this year’s Ultra, which welcomed 165,000 participants throughout the weekend of March 25-27 for a triumphant sell-out return after a two-year absence.