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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Along with the Spring season, comes the music festival that attracts thousands to South Florida every year.
Beginning Friday afternoon, the Ultra Music Festival will take over downtown’s Bayfront Park through Sunday night.
Ray Martinez, a security chief at Ultra, says they’re expecting anywhere from 165,000 to 170,000 people.
The festival, which started as a satellite event during Winter Music Conference, has become a destination for music fans from all over the world.
It will feature veteran acts Afrojack, Avicii, Carl Cox and Deadmau5.
New to Miami, one couple lives in a condo overlooking the festival and just couldn’t help themselves.
“We’ve been watching it from the apartment and we thought it was like taunting us. So we just went and were like, ‘let’s go get tickets,’” Gabe Ramos told CBS4 Report Donna Rapado.
“You just bought ’em now?” Rapado followed up.
“We just got tickets right now and we’re about to go in,” he said.
And for R.J. Catler, it was on his bucket list.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do in life for anything. The one thing I always wanted to do,” Catler said.
Ultra Music Fest organizers call this Miami festival the mecca of EDM in the industry.
“It is the first big event of the year. Determines a lot where all these DJs play throughout the year. So it’s really a big deal,” said Ultra Organizer Brian Mays.
“I really like the lineup this year. I think they’re gonna killed it,” said event-goer Gus Martinez.
Of course, anyone remotely familiar with the event, and wanting nothing to do with it, knows to steer clear of the Bayfront Park area Friday through Sunday.
Biscayne Boulevard detours shut down southbound at NE 4th Street and northbound traffic is cut down to two lanes along the festival waterfront.
“Bring a lot of patience. There is gonna be traffic. But we’re ready for that. We have a lot of officers directing traffic. And as long as everyone cooperates everything should be great,” said Miami police Sgt. Freddie Cruz.
Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said there will be traffic reroutes. Officials are recommending the Metrorail and Metromover as the ideal mode for transportation.
Miami Fire Rescue Ignatius Carroll says fire rescue units will be placed throughout the event as well.
Also, Miami heat fans should expect delays getting to the Miami arena a couple of blocks from Bayfront Park on Saturday night. The Heat will take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, so it’s sure to be a packed crowd.
And just a couple of miles over the causeway on Miami Beach, spring breakers and more music events at venues all over the beach for the Winter Music Conference.
That means more traffic, if you can imagine that, and more police everywhere.
Ocean Drive from 7th to 11th will be closed to vehicles from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. this weekend.
The beach is off limits, meaning no one on the sand after sundown.
No alcohol will be allowed on the beach. Police already set up checkpoints screening for contraband.