Ultra Music Festival Finds New Home After Being Forced Out Of Bayfront Park

Published on December 3, 2018

Ultra Music Festival is one of the most iconic all-electronic festivals in the US, but the city of Miami want’s it out of the iconic location it’s been in since 2012.

Ultra Music Festival

Miami’s Bayfront park is a picturesque location for just about any event. The park, which is nestled on the waters of Biscayne Bay has a backdrop of the towering high rise buildings in Miami’s Downtown area, while looking over the famous bay and South Beach areas. The park has been home to Ultra Music Festival for quite a few years now, but the city decided to put a stop to it and force the festival to move permanently beginning in 2019. Now, Ultra will be held in Virginia Key, just across the bay from the old location. It’s not a far move, but it is enough to have fans up in arms about the change to the festival’s beloved location.

Ultra Music Festival began in 1999, but Miami has been a hotspot for nightlife and music for decades now, before electronic music even existed. Velvet-walled jazz clubs and smokey, upscale bars marked the start of Miami’s long-standing career as a swanky party town. Clubs like Space, LIV and Story dominate the local industry. They’re also regarded as some of the most iconic party spots in the world. Miami’s unmistakable style, a mix of tacky, gaudy architecture and neon, brightly colored lighting and ambiance makes it comparable to the likes of places like Las Vegas and Ibiza as some of the world’s most iconic party places. Events like Ultra Music festival are, largely, the reason for that.


The night clubs were technically there first. But the Winter Music Conference in 1985 solidified Miami’s place in history as a spot for electronic music. The annual conference, which takes place in March, brings in thousands of industry professionals throughout its time in the city. From there, events like Ultra Music Festival and Miami Music Week were born. Today, hundreds of thousands of music lovers and industry workers flock to Miami to enjoy the party.

Miami city commissioners voted against keeping Ultra Music Festival at its current location this year. Citing that the festival brings too much noise and crowds. Residents have, in the past, complained about the presence of the three-day festival. Ultra has grown from a one-day event when it began nearly twenty years ago. For now, Ultra Music Festival will be held in Virginia Key. But the local residents are still opposed to its permanent location on the small island. Virginia Key is abundant with marine life and fragile ecosystems. You can check out some drone footage of the new venue here, which was posted online by Ultra last week.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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