Final Prep Underway For Ultra Music Fest In Downtown Miami
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The final push is on to have everything ready for the 16th annual Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
The festival, which runs Friday, March 28th through Sunday, March 30th, is one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world.
Some 50,000 to 60,000 people are expected each day. According to Ultra organizers one weekend of electronic music brings South Florida $79 million in economic impact.
Undercover Miami police officers will be amongst the crowds to make sure everyone is following the rules.
“You could almost reach out and touch us and us the same,” Miami Police officer Rene Pimentel said. “For the amount of people that are out there and the type of event that it is, the amount of arrests are minimal. It’s a great amount of revenue that is generated for the city and people enjoy themselves.”
Traffic along Biscayne Blvd will be rerouted through the weekend. The initial traffic pattern change and set up will happen starting Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 9 p.m. The reroute will be as follows; all southbound traffic along Biscayne Boulevard will be detoured west at NE 4 Street, to NE 2 Avenue and continue southbound on NE 2 Avenue. All northbound traffic along Biscayne Boulevard will be reduced to two lanes and shifted to the southbound lanes at SE 1 Street. It will continue northbound until NE 4 Street, where it will be shifted back to the regular northbound lanes.
Miami Police officers will be assigned throughout the area to assist with traffic control.
For some, the hassle of Ultra may outweigh the benefits.
“The only thing I really despise about Miami is to have this thing in front of my home,” said Jennifer, a downtown Miami resident.
She is one of the thousands of homeowners who live in high-rises around Bayfront Park. She welcomes the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue the event brings to the community, but not the show.
“You need to run away. You have no idea what that means. If you hear that thing they call music, it shakes everything in my house,” Jennifer said.
In past years her building, Vizcayne, has had fences erected around it to keep rowdy concertgoers out. This year many are choosing not to stick around.
Jennifer explained, “All my friends. I have friends who are going to Washington DC. I was just online. I was just across the street looking for an excursion.”
Due to the congestion of downtown Miami and the difficulty in finding parking, attendees have been told to getting there by car is not the best option. They’ve been urged to use Metrorail and MetroMover.
Tri-Rail has announced that it will extend train service every night during the festival. The special train will leave the Metrorail Transfer Station at 1:45 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and at 1:00 a.m. on Monday. The entire schedule can be viewed at tri-rail.com. Friday one-way fares are between $2.50 and $6.90 and weekend fares are just $5 all day.
This year’s Ultra Music Festival will feature three fully operational water refill stations, where water containers can be filled for free at any time. These locations will be clearly marked on the site map and within the festival’s mobile app. Bottled water will still be widely available for those that prefer that option.
Organizers say this year they revamped their wi-fi set up. The log-in information will be posted throughout the park and in the program guide attendees will receive at the gate. There will be specific “signal zones” throughout the park. There’s also a “friend finder” function in the mobile app which can help set up places for groups.
The organizers of Ultra agreed to an interview with CBS4 on Monday. However, just seconds before the interview; the organizers requested a list of questions, saying they were tired and didn’t want to be caught off guard by CBS4’s questions.
Journalistically speaking, CBS4 never discloses questions prior to an interview. With that, the organizers declined to be interviewed and asked CBS4’s David Sutta to leave.