The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise and forced both the public and private sectors to take drastic measures. As things started to get out of hand in the United States, businesses were promptly closed, concerts and events were canceled, and public safety protocols were put in place. Companies across the country began to join the battle against the virus in various ways, some by making donations while others began producing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Ultra Music Festival was one of the first major international events to be canceled due to COVID-19. The world-renowned event is the cornerstone of the Miami event industry, generating an economic impact of nearly $1 billion in 2018 alone while keeping the city at the forefront of the electronic music industry. The festival affects the livelihood of countless South Floridians, so its cancellation goes far beyond ravers being disappointed in the event’s postponement.
Over the course of the summer, COVID-19 cases in Florida continued to skyrocket to the point where Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach counties ended up surpassing Wuhan and becoming the epicenter of the pandemic. In their efforts to help their fellow South Floridians protect themselves from the virus, Ultra teamed up with iHeartRaves to donate 12,000 facial masks to marginalized communities around Miami.
Joining Forces to Enhance the Positive Impact
Brian Lim, CEO of iHeartRaves, explained the motivation behind the charitable partnership in a press release, saying, “Our Buy A Mask, Give A Mask program enables our customers to help those on the front lines while purchasing a face mask at a fair price,
“During this time of crisis, we wanted to make sure that we were still able to give back to the community. We chose to partner with Ultra on this initiative for the same reasons we partner with them during the festival season. We wanted to enhance the positive impact we could have on the EDM community by joining forces with other leaders in the space.”
The donations started in June with the two companies focusing on getting masks to senior citizens. The decision was made to “prioritize this vulnerable demographic” after the CDC identified the elderly as the highest-risk population for serious complications from the virus and death. Representatives from the two companies joined city officials to execute door-to-door deliveries of face masks to two government-subsidized senior living facilities.
Ultra and iHeartRaves also teamed up with the charity Farm Share and The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center to donate masks at the drive-through food give away hosted at Miami’s City Hall in June. That event not only provided Miamians with facial masks but also food donations and fruit trees.
The donation efforts expanded in July, with masks being donated as a part of a care package to 4,000 residents of notorious Miami neighborhood, Liberty City. Care packages were also delivered to residents of the Brownsville senior center and at the Hadley Park Hurricane Preparedness drive-through giveaway.
The charitable efforts from the two EDM companies went a long way to helping some of the most vulnerable Miamians protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, those contributions to the fight will endear the music festival to the Miami residents who have been battling to have the event thrown out of the city; particularly since 2020 was supposed to be Ultra’s official return to Miami.