COCONUT GROVE, FLA. (WSVN) - - City of Miami Commissioners have delayed the vote on the Ultra Music Festival’s future until July during a meeting at Miami City Hall.
Residents packed city hall Thursday to tell commissioners how they feel about the festival possibly returning.
“The reason I am here is to discuss the negative impact Ultra has had in my life,” a resident said.
“Ultra at Bayfront Park damages our homes,” a second resident said.
“I have seen downtown go through many changes, and Ultra has not added in a positive way,” a third resident said.
“It’s too huge,” a fourth resident said. “It’s too much traffic.”
Although the room was filled with dissenters, the room also had just as many Ultra lovers who want the city to start negotiations with the festival for it to return to Bayfront Park.
Ultra supporters pointed out the festival’s massive impact on the South Florida economy.
“I have taken the time off of work and come to speak in favor of Ultra returning to Bayfront Park,” a resident said.
“If you moved to downtown Miami for peace and quiet, you chose the wrong place. It’s three days — deal with it,” another resident said.
“It is a big event and supports jobs and taxes, and please bring Ultra back,” a third resident said.
City of Miami Chairman Ken Russell said during the meeting, “If this comes now, I’m a no vote. The way this is … I think it’s not a good deal for the city, and I don’t think the neighbors have been considered at all.”
However, this year’s festival on Virginia Key had its share of transportation issues.
Some local vendors, like Glen Larson, who built docks for Ultra, have not been paid for the work they did.
“We’re a small family business,” Larson said. “I’ve got 30 employees.”
The city said Ultra also owes them $866,449 for fire, police and trash services at this year’s concert.
When asked whether Ultra still owing the city money concerns him, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said, “If any vendor of the city owes the City of Miami, it is a major concern to me. It is something that has to be reconciled before anything can happen.”
Ultra said they are disputing whether they actually owe the city money. Even if Miami leaders decide they want Ultra back, the festival has not said whether or not they want to return to Bayfront Park.
Commissioners ultimately decided to defer the vote until July 25 because representatives from Ultra and the city manager were not present at the meeting.
City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo said, “The city manager should have been here because this meeting is extremely important.”
“I wish the representatives from Ultra could have been here because I think that we should clarify what cost the first vote against them staying at Bayfront Park,” City of Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes said.
7News reached out to Ultra representatives for comment, but they declined.
Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.