Last Wednesday, January 2, the city of Miami released its proposed resolution to cancel weekend 2 of the electronic-only festival, set to take place on March 22, 23, and 24. This came as quite a shock to EDM fans across the globe, as UMF's phase 1 lineup release was not even scheduled until that coming Friday, January 4.
The resolution, spearheaded by Miami commissioner Marc Sarnoff, reads "said event will be disruptive to the local business community and area residents due to noise, nuisance behavior by festival goers, and grid locked traffic," and that "one weekend of disruption may be tolerable to residents and the business community, but two consecutive weekends will cause disruptions in work in local offices and create difficulty in accessing residential buildings." The official document can be read here.
Bryan May, UMF representative, provided a strong rebuttal. "On one weekend, [the festival] will bring in about 160,000 people to the community. It does have its disruptions, but it also has a tremendous economic benefit," he claimed, which can be backed up by the $79 million in revenue reported by Miami-Dade county in 2012. Commissioner Sarnoff was not fazed, however, saying, "About 70 to 80 percent of these kids are on some sort of mind-altering drug. You've been very, very lucky."
No one can be sure what will happen next. The loss of weekend 2 means that fans will miss out on Swedish House Mafia's supposed-to-be-last performance EVER. However, while the permits for both weekends are already in place, events at Bayfront Park are at all times subject to approval by the city commission, despite the fact that it is managed by a private trust separate from city funding.
The commission will officially vote tomorrow, January 10.
If you would like to get involved, you can sign this online petition urging the Commission to withdraw its proposal. With over 7k+ votes, the petition seems to have a chance, but only if it reaches its goal of 10,000.
For more information and continued updates, you can subscribe to the UMF official newsletter via UltraMusicFestival.com or like UMF on Facebook.
With love and hope, A xx