Miami City Council will vote on May 9 whether to renew or revoke Ultra Music Festival’s license to hold their event on Virginia Key for a second year, but Virginia Key has already made it clear that it doesn’t want Ultra back.

A preliminary meeting two weeks ago discussed the possibility of Ultra returning. Commissioner Joe Carollo against voiced his intent to vote against the festival, as he did last November. City Manager Emilio Gonzalez and Commissioner Keon Hardemon both expressed support for the festival, but will it be enough?

In a meeting on Tuesday, the Virginia Key Advisory Board voted against Ultra, recommending that the city of Miami revoke its license agreement. (Note: this vote has no direct result on the vote from the Miami City Council.) This decision was influenced in large part by a report from University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, which outlined the stress the festival was causing on wildlife in the area.

“Ultra was causing short-term, acute stress on our fish,” said Danielle McDonald, an associate professor of marine biology at the university. “We are using it as a canary in the coal mine.”

Sound recordings in air at the UMEH property rarely exceeded 80 dB during the event. However, despite  being well within the permitted limits, the noise pollution caused by the Ultra Music Festival led to significant elevations of noise in tanks at the UMEH (average increase of 10 dB) and toadfish housed in these tanks experienced a clear, and statistically significant, stress response.

Read the full report here, and stay tuned for May 9th when the Miami City Council votes.


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