It isn’t often that we see various music festivals held in the same city. Not even on the same weekend, much less the exact same venue. This is exactly what is taking place in Florida. We have two competing festivals that are attempting to hold their events on the same weekend, at the same venue. The festivals in question are Rapture Electronic Music Festival and Ultra Music Festival, while the venue is none other than Miami‘s Virginia Key.
After being booted from Miami’s Bayfront Park, Ultra was granted a contract by the city to move their weekend event to the Virginia Key. However Rapture claims that it has a contract with Virginia Key Beach Historic Trust, despite never producing evidence one exists.
With a festival of Ultra‘s magnitude, came the obvious worries of its impact on Virginia Key‘s delicate ecosystem. This is one of the major points that Rapture is hanging its hat on.
Cease-and-Desist to Lawsuit
In early January, Rapture sent Ultra a cease-and-desist letter. Rapture essentially demanded Ultra cease preparations for the festival. Since Ultra clearly did not do that, Rapture filed a dubious federal lawsuit today. The most curious part is that the case was filed in federal court, since both festivals are Floridian festivals and the situation revolves around Florida contracts. Rapture’s attorneys came upon a creative, if not superfluous argument, to drag the case into a Federal courtroom. On top of that, Rapture’s attorneys are seeking an emergency injunction. This is a Court order forcing Ultra to stop the festival planning, essentially killing Ultra 2019.
Rapture’s attorney argues:
“Ultra, the city of Miami and the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust are violating anti-trust laws by conspiring to establish Ultra,
… as a monopoly in the local music festival market each spring”.
He continues on that:
“This was an opportunity for Ultra and [Event Entertainment Group] to shut down its competing Miami based festival held by Rapture,” the lawsuit says.
The five-count lawsuit is attempting to void “Ultra’s application to hold the event in the park”. The biggest factor in submitting the suit, was the fact that Ultra’s application was submitted after Rapture’s application.
In an attempt to halt Ultra’s advances on the venue, Rapture Music Festival is now seeking an emergency injunction. As time winds down, and the weekend of March 29-31 inches closer & closer, it remains to be seen how this situation unfolds. The full 19-page lawsuit can be found here.
Not to worry Ultra fans, this injunction is almost certainly not going to be granted. What Rapture is seeking is a preliminary injunction that takes places now while the lawsuit plays out in the Court over the course of time. In order to obtain such an injunction they have to prove, (1) substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) irreparable injury will be
suffered unless the injunction issues; (3) the threatened injury to the Rapture outweighs whatever damage the proposed injunction may cause the opposing party; and (4) if issued, the injunction would not be adverse to the public interest.” Rapture fails on all 4 counts here.