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Residents, Officials Hold Meeting As Ultra's Future On Virginia Key Remains Uncertain

KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – Will the massively popular Ultra Music Festival return to Virginia Key for a second time next year?

The globally-known festival had a shaky start last month during its debut at the new location.

It brings big money to South Florida, but the question now for residents is does the good outweigh the bad.

Critics are quick to point out the inconvenience for residents due to the massive crowds and the noise from that EDM, or electronic dance music.

The local governments most affected by the giant, $200 million event are taking stock of everything.

On Tuesday, a meeting was held in the village of Key Biscayne.

"It's not the right place," said Key Biscayne Mayor Michael Davey. "Transportation did not work. Ultra can't be done with 60,000 people. Can't be done on Virginia Key. It does not work."

The mayor is referring to the transportation meltdown on the first night of Ultra last month, which saw concert goers walking across the massive Rickenbacker Causeway to get back to Miami, clogging the only road in and out of Key Biscayne.

"Tonight it is going to come up and we are going to have a littler conversation and find where everyone stands," said Mayor Davey.

The concern for Key Biscayne politicos and residents is that traffic into their city was severely chocked by the event, and they also heard during the meeting that business was down between sixty and eighty percent.

"As far as I am concerned I am going to fight every waking minute," said Key Biscayne Village Council member Luis Lauredo.

As opposed to the festival as the residents are, they face a problem. The City of Miami owns the Ultra site at Virginia Key.

"It's not the place to have it, but it's not ours," said Key Biscayne Village Council member Edward London. "They are not going to listen to us."

The Ultra organization is all set to produce another show in 2020, but the City of Miami, which controls the new venue on Virginia Key, has the choice to opt out.

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez rode in a helicopter as Ultra was happening on the ground below, keeping tabs of the events of that busy weekend.

He was not happy with the traffic and the sound issues.

"Hopefully they will decide to have it somewhere else," said London. "Because they do not give a damn, I think you know that by now."

Hard data on the traffic and environmental impact is still being compiled.

The council did pass a resolution to express their concerns at a City of Miami hearing on Ultra coming up on Thursday.


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