2020 Ultra Music Festival Likely To Be Cancelled; Announcement Coming March 6

The 2020 Ultra Music Festival will be postponed possibly for a full year, which would effectively cancel this year’s edition of Miami’s marquee electronic dance music event, the Miami Herald has reported.

The decision was made March 4, 2020 during a meeting between Miami city leaders and Ultra Music Festival organizers.

Before the meeting, Mayor Francis Suarez, City Manager Art Noriega, and City Commissioner Joe Carollo told reporters they wanted to postpone the event due to concerns over the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Mayor Francis Suarez (l) and City Commissioner Joe Carollo (r)
Courtesy: Miami Herald

The event was to be held March 20-22 at Miami’s Bayfront Park.

The city of Miami has estimated that since 2012, Ultra has generated approximately $995 million of economic impact, with $168 million in 2018 alone.

Mayor Suarez said that Ultra Music Festival presents a unique challenge in that people come from abroad to attend the festival, which has a capacity of 55,000 per day.

The mayor said residents have asked the city to consider postponing or canceling Ultra.

“The decision was made to postpone it,” Commissioner Manolo Reyes said, shortly after Mayor Suarez briefed him on the meeting. Commissioner Reyes also signaled that the city will likely look at postponing another large event on the city’s March calendar.

“I agreed with the decision to postpone it,” Commissioner Reyes said.

But City Manager Noriega did not address the details of the deal because the city’s legal team and Ultra Music Festival are still drafting language for a new agreement.

Courtesy: Ultra Music Festival

“We’re working on a plan with them, and I’ll formally announce it on Friday,” City Manager Noriega said. “The devil’s in the details. I haven’t seen the actual draft of the agreement.”

“I can tell you that just in the last 24 hours, I have received countless emails and messages of all kinds urging the city to act,” Mayor Suarez added. “That is another major motivator to have this conversation before it gets too late.”

Mayor Suarez had said if Ultra did not agree to postponing the event, the city has the power to cancel the event under the existing contract.

It is unclear how the decision will affect ticket holders.

Ultra Music Festival’s brand stretches across the globe. Last week, Ultra Music Fesival’s event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was canceled by local organizers.

City Manager Noriega said the city and Ultra Music Festival need to reach a final agreement on how to proceed by March 6 because festival organizers would otherwise be closing Bayfront Park to set up the stages.

“We want to make sure we have everything buttoned up on a mutually agreed upon plan with Ultra,” City Manager Noriega said.

This is a developing story.

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Erik Lake

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