We all knew it was happening, and today it is official, Ultra Music Festival 2020 will be canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Though the City was quick to use the term “postponed”. The announcement was made during the City of Miami’s Press Conference in regards to Ultra Music Festival and Calle 8.
In the statement, the officials said both events would be postponed and they were aware of the problems this would cause. They would work with the organizers, especially Calle Ocho, to recover. All in all there was a distinct sense that the City was not too concerned about Ultra. The Mayor mentioned that in their discussions with Ultra they demanded a specialized life safety plan, but the evolving threat made them concerned that no plan would be possible. On Ultra’s side, the festival demanded assurance that the City would not cancel on them once they began construction. The construction process costs them 10s of millions of dollars. Obviously, the talks broke down and Ultra will not even begin construction at all.
At 9:40am Ultra posted its official statement on its website. Ultra has been officially postponed until 2021 and the festival blamed the City for preventing access to Bayfront park for the festival. Worryingly, the statement said ticket purchasers would be contacted by email on Monday regarding next steps. This means that automatic refunds are probably not in the cards.
However, all Miami Music Week events are still happening at this point. The capacity will be limited to 25,000 people for Coronavirus related Safety measures.
Earlier this week, a meeting was held between the festival and city officials to discuss a possible postponing. Following the meeting, many reports were circulating about a 1 year postponing of Ultra. This got even more serious when DJs started pulling Ultra from their tour dates.
Ultra is definitely living one of the worst possible scenarios. After struggling with getting back to Bayfront Park, the lawsuits, contract delay, today this cancellation decision will be another huge challenge. Many Festivals would have not survived these circumstances, but we believe in Ultra and its ability to make a strong comeback.
In other news, an order to dismiss in the Miami residents’ suit to stop Ultra was entered yesterday. However, in these circumstance, this order is a Pyrrhic victory to UMF. The city of Miami also promised during the press conference that it will be offering financial support to Ultra and Cale 8 following this cancellation.
As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, more and more festivals face the threat of cancellation. Ultra Abu Dhabi was the first major festival victim. Tomorrowland Winter, and Road To Ultra India were next, and now Ultra Music Festival.
While it is too early to guess, many other major events will certainly follow. We remain optimistic about what’s coming, but 2020 is already a tough year for the EDM and overall music scene.