The ongoing saga of Ultra’s search for a 2020 venue has been tumultuous to say the least. After much uproar from the community, it’s been a hot topic of conversation for months. Today, Miami commissioners finally took to a vote. Ultra will return to its home at Bayfront Park in 2020.
Ahead of today’s vote, Commissioner Reyes and Ultra made some last-minute changes to the deal as a result of negotiations. The changes include a further lowering of the sound cap from 104 (originally 110) to 102 and the elimination of the Biscayne (Oasis) Stage. The rest of the changes are minor legalese type issues. Even with these new concessions from Ultra, the Downtown locals are not one bit satisfied and have continued their vehement opposition.
After multiple comments from both sides, the commissioners pushed lunch to allow more time for concerned attendees to share their thoughts.
Around 4:15 the Commissioners took up the item formally. They began by reading off the last-minute changes to the agreement. Commissioner Carollo continued commenting that the deal was overly slanted towards Ultra. Oddly enough there was a lengthy discussion over costs from the 2019 edition. There was a dispute between Ultra and the City concerning payment for fire and police equipment. However, a settlement had been reached. Yet, Commissioner Carollo seemed intent on seeing the deal rejected. He used the dispute over these costs to say that Ultra should not be allowed to come back.
At the last minute when the Commission was ready to get to the vote, the villainous Carollo argued that only the Bayfront Park Trust (which he controls) can sign the agreement. However, the City Attorney chimed in to let everyone know that everything Carollo said was incorrect. She maintained that the City had full authority to control to make the deal on behalf of the Bayfront Park Trust. Carollo responded angrily by demanding that the City should dissolve the Bayfront Park Trust before voting on the Project. It became clear he was bringing up everything possible to get the deal rejected.
Finally, Commissioner Hardemon motioned for an approval vote, with Carollo argumentative until the end. As the vote neared, the critics and no-votes made sure to filibuster as much as humanly possible. After one final diatribe from Carollo, the vote passed 3 to 2.
2nd Resistance Stage Eliminated?
Buried in the deal is a huge piece of news that was just learned at the meeting. Apparently, the area where the Spider stage formerly stood will be eliminated completely in order to keep the children’s park open to the public. After some back and forth, it became unclear if that was the plan or not. At this time it’s not known.