It was only two weeks ago that the Miami City Commission voted not to renew Ultra Music Festival’s contract at Bayfront Park (which the festival still aims to appeal), and it seems like the flood gates have opened. In a preliminary vote this morning, the same commission unanimously agreed to limit all outside events at Bayfront Park.
What does that mean exactly? In years past, Bayfront Park would be closed to the public for somewhere around 100 days, during events, preparation, and tear-down. Now, according to Miami Herald, the city wants to “reserve the park for the general public for 85 percent of the year. In the remaining 55 days of the year, the park could host private events, though any prep time will also count.”
If this ordinance eventually passes, it would not necessarily completely ruin Ultra’s chances of returning to the park, but it would vastly diminish them as a considerable amount of that 55 days would be used for the festival (and not other events).
Like the meeting two weeks ago, members of the community were invited to attend and voice their opinions. Amal Kabbani, president of the Miami Downtown Neighbors Alliance, said, “It was impossible to sleep. The vibration was really nasty, down to having dishes shake in our apartment.” Ultra ceases music at midnight on Friday and Saturday, and at 11pm on Sunday.
Other residents, who may not even like Ultra, voiced their concern that the city may be setting too wide a precedent. Dan Phalen, 29, who lives about 1,500 feet from Bayfront Park, said, “I don’t think just because you dislike something that you should stop it.”
He added, “You could have the same argument for Memorial Day weekend on South Beach.”
Ultimately, this decision will be made at a future meeting, but with unanimous support from the council, it seems Bayfront Park’s fate, and the events held within it, may already be sealed.
Photo via aLIVE Coverage for Ultra