Downtown Dwellers Enjoy A Little Quiet Before Ultra Fest Resumes
MIAMI (CBS4) – The first weekend of Ultra Music Festival 15 is in the books and fans are already looking forward to next weekend when it happen all over again.
The world’s largest electronic music festival has set up shop at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami and it’s brought with it massive crowds along with lots of noise and traffic.
Tens of thousands of people packed the park over the weekend and will be back next weekend for the second part of the festival.
Downtown dwellers, however, aren’t exactly thrilled. Besides the noise and crowds, Bayfront Park will be off limits for the next couple weeks. Glenn Laaspere who lives downtown and who walks his dog every day, isn’t too happy about it.
“This is the only green space in downtown. They shut this down two weeks prior and it goes for another two weeks after the show, so we lose our park for about five weeks,” said Laaspere.
Laaspere said he’s had to endure his windows rattling from the bass for eight hours a day, three days in a row. He added that he can’t wait for the party to be officially over next weekend.
Those who don’t live downtown and attended the first weekend of the festival said it was great.
“It’s amazing. Jumping around, people loving on each other. It’s happy fun. Music brings everybody together,” Stephanie Spriggs said.
Spriggs came to Miami from Orlando for the event. She has VIP tickets for next weekend.
“You just gotta do it once in your life. It’s the best feeling in the world,” Shawn Salartsh said.
He is also attending the second weekend of the festival.
Greyla Alvarez lives in the high-rise across the street from Bayfront Park.
She left town last year to avoid Ultra, but a business commitment kept her from doing the same this time around.
When asked what the last three days were like for her, she said, “Crazy. Trying to stay inside the apartment or going somewhere else. It’s really difficult to be with the noise all day and night.”
Alvarez said her windows were rattling, but it’s not just the noise that bothered her.
She said the traffic has been a nightmare.
“Just to get here, two blocks away, it took maybe 45 minutes to get to my own house. So it’s complicated,” she said.
Laurent Homburger skipped the complications by leaving his downtown pad for the weekend.
“I always heard it was the craziest weekend here,” said Homburger.
The 27-year-old admitted he didn’t mind the view of the festivities from his building’s pool deck.
“Maybe I’ll be here next week,” he said. “I’m going to try to see a little bit.”
That might not be a bad idea, considering most of the people in this crowd paid more than $300 to be part of the action.
“They should be enjoying it,” one fan said. “They’re getting a free show, so why not.”
While the event may be an inconvenience to some, locals acknowledge Ultra does bring a lot of money in to the city.
It also brought out police officers.
Miami Police officers arrested 85 people throughout the 3-day festival. The top 3 charges were for disorderly conduct, narcotics possession, and operating a business without a license.
Miami firefighters and paramedics responded to the festival for more than 100 calls for help, and transported more than 24 people to area hospitals for minor injuries.