Miami commissioners vote in favor of moving Ultra Music Festival to Virginia Key

MIAMI (WSVN) - City of Miami commissioners have approved Ultra Music Festival’s proposal to move its electronic music festival to Virginia Key.

Four out of five commissioners voted in support of the festival which received harsh criticism from environmental activists and residents in Key Biscayne.

At the forefront of the campaign against the festival was Key Biscayne Mayor-elect Michael Davey.

“Ultra is not right with Virginia Key and Virginia Key is not right for Ultra,” he said at the commission meeting.

Many at the meeting also agreed, especially the residents.

“I don’t think it will be really safe to have this amount of people and traffic,” said Jenice Maza who’s against Ultra. “It will be very dangerous.”

“Getting off this island with an emergency with something like that is an extreme issue, and that’s something that we think about at all times,” said Elliot Blasser who’s against Ultra.

However, not everybody present was against the festival’s proposal.

“I think it’s a good economy boost and will create a good amount of business for the area,” supporter Michael Ruffu said.

“To me, it’s the only place in Miami that’s not residential,” Gonzalo Perez added, “so loud music isn’t going to bother neighbors or people at night.”

Thursday’s vote paved way for the event to continue with its plans to host in Virginia Key Beach and the Miami Marine Stadium from March 29 through 31 in 2019.

Organizers with Ultra Music Festival said shuttle buses will transport festival-goers into the venue. However, VIP guests will be allowed to drive themselves to the event.

Addressing concerns with its impact to the environment, representatives assured opponents that fences will be put in place to protect sensitive structures and habitats.

“We understand the concerns of the residents and we understand the environmental concerns,” Ultra Music Festival head of security Ray Martinez said. “We have pledged that we are going to work together and eliminate all those concerns the best we can.”

Hours after their victory, Ultra shared a video to social media showcasing previous locations they’ve held their festival. The video which dated as far back as 1999 showed footage of the festival taking place in Miami Beach and at Bicentennial Park and Bayfront Park.