MIAMI (CBS4) – Ultra Music Festival may have left some with a hangover in Downtown Miami Monday, but for the area’s clean-up crew it was a dream come true.
“We have probably taken down, no exaggeration, at least 300 stickers this morning,” a Downtown Development Authority worker said as he scraped them away.
Sidekick Kieth Cliett grabbed a bucket of stickers showing them off like a badge of honor. He informed CBS4 they usually peel away about 1500 stickers a month. By the end of Monday, just one day, he expected to have 1,000.
When asked if he was angry at the Ultra crowd for making such a mess he responded, “Oh they can come back as much as they want. Love it. Job security.”
The numbers from Ultra are coming in. Some are big. Some are small. And in some cases it’s record breaking. There’s the crowd, an expected 350,000 will line up to dance over two weekends. That’s more than twice what it was in 2012.
On the web another 8 million views have been logged on a live streaming YouTube channel and all those virtual and real visits add up.
According to Ultra organizers one weekend of electronic music bring South Florida $79 million in economic impact. Certainly Ultra is making money too. $299 is the price of a 3 day ticket.
For those looking to duck a line and crowd, it’s $750 for the VIP. When you add it up, Ultra will bring in more than $30 million in tickets sales alone, which doesn’t including corporate sponsors, food and drink sales, and merchandise.
Those in the crowd will tell you the money is well spent. Just ask the one wheelchair crowd surfer or the six people who were lucky to have sheet cakes thrown at their face by a famous DJ.
By contrast the City of Miami will take in about $1.2 million to cover 208 police officers, paramedics, and the rental of Bayfront Park. Ultra owns the park for 38 days between setup and breakdown.
The park shutdown has neighbors a bit annoyed.
“This is the only green space in downtown and they shut this down two weeks prior and it goes another two weeks after the shutdown of the show. We lose our park for about five weeks,” said Glenn Laaspere.
Meanwhile the 208 cops have been quite busy. Veteran Ultra fans say about 90% of the crowd is on something. The average cost of the most popular abused drug over the weekend, ecstasy (also called Mollies) is about $10. Last year, there were 71 arrests. Police announced Monday this year it was 84.
The breakdown of arrest were:
- 20 Conducting business without a license
- 18 Narcotics
- 10 Disorderly conduct
That leaves Miami with just one number…three. That’s how many more days of Ultra is left when this whole thing restarts at the end of the week.