MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Residents of Downtown Miami faced the organizers behind Ultra Music Festival Thursday.
Festival reps and the City of Miami Police held a community meeting to discuss the logistics of the event set for the weekend of March 23rd.
“Safety and security is our highest priority,” said Ray Martinez, Ultra Music Festival’s Security Director.
The event brings in thousands of people to the area, prompting mass street closures and major security.
At an informational session, promoters and police laid out plans for security. Some Downtown residents only reluctantly abide the three-day blaring bash.
“I think it’s an important event for a lot of people, myself, I am not a fan,” said Downtown resident Steve Dutton.
Some whose condo’s vibrant from the Ultra vibrations would prefer the noise go away.
“Disruption, traffic, noise,” said Downtown resident Andres Althabe.
Downtown hotels and businesses see a huge benefit from the more than 300,000 to flock to the festival.
“I am very excited to have it come to Miami,” said Peter Brandis with Giardino’s Gourmet Subs, adding it’s ‘fantastic’ for business.
Last week, officials met to talk about the event at Bayfront Park.
Close to 165,000 people are expected to attend the event this year and that size crowd in the park surrounded by tall buildings on 2 to 3 sides poses a significant security issue given recent events.
“Obviously things have happened this year and our officers are on high alert,” said Freddie Cruz on February 28th, Miami Police Department commander. “We can’t emphasize it enough that we need the community to come and have a good time, but a criminal can take advantage of that and we want to take that away from them.”
Bayfront Park is surrounded by tall buildings on almost 3 sides, a situation similar to what happened in Las Vegas last October at the Harvest Music Festival where a gunman opened fire on the crowd killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
Wednesday was an initial planning meeting with local, state, and federal officials to make the event safe and secure.
If you see something say, something is the recurring safety theme and with the added presence this year it will make it easier for the right people to get the information should anything seem suspicious.