Okay. So, this is tricky.
A true 50-50 proposition.
On one hand the Ultra Music Festival is a huge disturbance to the downtown corridor -- it causes massive traffic delays, Bay-front Park closes for a month during our peak season, the noise and lights pound and shake apartments for 20 city blocks, and unarguably lots of drugs and weirdos are floating around. According to the DDA, 80,750 residents live in the Downtown corridor -- that's a 100 percent increase since the 2000 census -- one must wonder how many of these people want Ultra to stay.
On the other hand, relax, right.
The festival is a celebration of the spirit of youth -- the culmination of Winter Music Week -- it generates millions of dollars for the city and the Bayside Park Trust as well as for hotels, restaurants, AirBNB hosts, and taxi and Uber drivers.
Still, there isn't a city in America that hosts such a large event right smack dab in the middle of it's city corridor. Most comparable EDM events are held at raceways (EDC Vegas) or at baseball stadiums (EDC Orlando) or in Miami at the football stadium (Life Is Color). And then you have the Ultra Music Festival -- the biggest and the baddest of them all -- occurring literally right on Biscayne Blvd.
Sure, they made adjustments -- for example, the festival is no longer all-ages nor are certain paraphernalia items allowed in. But still -- it's been 16 days and the park is mostly still closed. As someone who lives two blocks away and is not cool with losing the park for a month (I use it daily to walk the dog) I still say let Ultra stay, but like barely. And for one weekend only. Not that two-weekend bullshit they pulled on us last year. We may be older but the kids can still play on our lawn (for now).
What do you think?