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Ultra Music Festival Back At Bayfront, Organizers Not Concerned About Crowds Coming Over From Miami Beach

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ultra Music Festival is on its way to returning after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.

"I guess I'll have a concert from my balcony," Amber Conforti, a downtown Miami resident, said.

Expect to hear the music from far away this weekend, especially if you're in a high-rise building near the waterfront.

"We're doing some sound monitoring," Ray Martinez, Ultra Music Festival spokesperson, said.

The noise coming from the festival will be unavoidable, but when it comes to public safety, Miami PD is hoping to keep crowds and crime under control.

"We have enhanced planning this year to prevent incidents that you have seen at other venues around the nation and we're very confident that we have a solid plan," Miami Police Department Chief Manny Morales said.

In years past, Ultra has had a reputation – though it may be unwarranted in recent years.

Almost eight years ago, a security guard was nearly trampled to death after people stampeded through a barrier. And there have been hundreds of arrests and drug overdoses, until the festival spent more money and stepped up security.

But the number of arrests have declined. In 2018, the last time the concert was at Bayfront Park, there were 27 arrests. In 2017, there were 35.

Traffic on the other hand might just be a nightmare.

This weekend, there will be multiple high-profile events happening in the Miami area, including Miami Music Week, the Miami Open, a Heat game and spring break.

"I know that other festivals have taken place since I've moved in a couple of months ago – not to the scale of this, probably, and even those festivals I've heard, like they bellow," Amber Vizzaccaro, another resident, said.

There are some concerns that the curfew in Miami Beach, which starts at midnight, will push more people over to downtown Miami when the festival wraps up.

However, Martinez thinks police and staff are well prepared.

"We're not concerned about the crowds coming over here, I know the City of Miami has plans in place," Martinez said.

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