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Marc Sarnoff Wants Ultra Music Festival 'Disapproved' By City Of Miami Resolution

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He won't name them, according to meeting minutes, but City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff says Downtown business owners are furious about the addition of a second weekend to the massive Ultra Music Festival.

In response, Sarnoff has filed a resolution "disapproving" of Ultra's new two-weekend format, asking commissioners to officially frown on six days of raving and divest Bayfront Park Management Trust of the power to hold Ultra for a second weekend over March 22-24.

Miami New Times reports it is not clear if the resolution could legally force the cancellation of Ultra's second weekend, for which tickets are already on sale.

The festival, which last year drew some 165,000 revelers to Downtown, dumps $79 million into the South Florida economy annually according to a recent study from the Washington Economics Group Inc.

Sarnoff filed his resolution after the commission agreed in early December to defer a decision on Ultra's request to close northbound lanes of Biscayne Boulevard two weekends in a row.

Sarnoff argued against approving the closure then, citing both traffic issues, music fans "urinating, defecating, or throwing up" in his office building garage, and opining that "about 70 to 80 percent of these kids are on some sort of mind-altering drug."

Ultra's Brian May, who brought a draft of a 499-page traffic study, testified in response that festival organizers have met with surrounding hotels and businesses and offered to make improvements and shore up resources.

Though Sarnoff said he thought Ultra "could come to an accommodation with them, and I think it involves a great many dead presidents... I can only say what my position is. So I'm going to honor [business owners'] request." (Read the full meeting minutes at Miami New Times.)

His ensuing resolution states "one weekend of disruption may be tolerable to residents and the business community but two (2) consecutive weekends will cause disruptions in work in local offices and create difficulty in accessing residential buildings."

The commission is expected to vote on the legislation Thursday, though one observer at the forum Talk Nightlife suggested it might just be good ol' Miami machinations:

"UMF for two days will 99.999999% happen," wrote poster The Honky Tonk Man. "The Noff is trying to squeeze money and accommodations out of UMF for his boys in big law [firms]."

At any rate, the allegedly drugged-up kids aren't taking the matter lightly. A petition demanding the resolution be withdrawn has already gathered 4,597 signatures.

Also on The Huffington Post

UMF 2012
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