MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The fate of the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami won’t decided Thursday by the Miami commission.
An item on the day’s agenda was a resolution to ban Ultra from hosting any more concerts at Bayfront Park. Early Thursday afternoon, however, the resolution was withdrawn. Instead the commission was asked to discuss the future of Ultra in the city during their meeting on April 24th.
The measure, sponsored by Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, came in response to the March 28th trampling of Contemporary Services Corporation guard Erica Mack by a group of people who didn’t have tickets and stormed a fence to get inside.
Mack, 28, suffered a fractured skull and her leg was broken in two places. On Wednesday she underwent surgery to repair her leg.
Due to the trampling incident plus the arrests, drug over doses and fence hopping in past years, Sarnoff and Mayor Tomas Regalado proposed the resolution to oust Ultra.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said Ultra promoters should have been surrounded by heavy steel fencing, which is impossible to push over, but one spot had only a weak chain-link.
“And we brought to their attention, we told them ‘listen this area of the fence is weak you need to secure it better,” said Chief Orosa.
But the fix was flimsy.
“What we were told by the Ultra security was that it was left open for a water vendor to have access to enter for water,” said Sarnoff.
Sarnoff and Regalado say by not putting up a more secure fence Ultra organizers breached their contract.
Commissioner Frank Carollo said he would oppose running-off Ultra that brings an estimated $79 million to local business.
“There’s no doubt that the economic impact to Downtown Miami, to the City of Miami, and to this whole community is huge,” said Carollo.
The Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association also wants the festival to stay.
“The Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association looks forward to the return of the Ultra Music Festival to downtown Miami on a long term basis. From the perspective of our membership, the festival generates positive economic impact through sold out hotel rooms in downtown Miami, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and throughout the entire county. Additional business is generated from independent events, patronage of our restaurants, clubs, bars, taxis, limousines, tour companies, tourism venues and retail establishments,” according to a statement.
The GMBHA’s statement also addressed the mayor’s concerns.
“We recognize that there are challenges with any large event. Our role is to mitigate and manage those challenges and work together to
participate in resolving the issues.”
Ultra organizers have said they will do a comprehensive review of the festival’s security procedures.
A petition on change.org urges Ultra supporters to ask Miami’s elected officials to “keep Ultra Music Festival in Miami,” according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. So far the petition has 29,000 signatures out of a goal of 35,000.
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