At first I considered not even reporting on this story as it crops up every single year around this time. The insanity of the winter music conference has fully subsided and the Ultra Music Festival team is deep in planning out it's 2018 installment. It will be the 20th anniversary for the festival which has taken place in South Florida since 1998. It has grown in scope, attracts tens of thousands to Miami for a week in March and most of all – does absolute wonders for the local economy.
The Good and The Bad
Of course Ultra does have it's negatives. It is a massive festival in a city where partying can be looked at as a Job. This makes for general debauchery as well as many drug related incidents during the WMC. It is understandable that the local community can look at Ultra is a negative light. Especially when many residents fail to see the benefits which Ultra provides first hand.
“We always knew from the huge crowds that we draw that we had a major impact on our local economy, but we did not realize it was this huge,” ~ UMF creator and executive director Russell Faibisch
A petition is making the rounds on Change.org to have the Miami government put it's foot down and ban the festival all together. While the petition has grown quickly, the numbers are still incredibly far off from the petition making any kind of real impact. Miami residents and government always debate in the off season if it is worth the chaos of a week to have the positive impact on the economy. Time and time again the festival is cleared to continue. This is because Ultra pulls in an ungodly amount of money each year.
The Miami News Times reported in 2012 that Ultra generates about $80 million dollars in business for the Miami community. The figure has surely grown in the past five years as well. At the end of the day Ultra is a money making machine. So residents will once again for to put up with a week of debauchery in their city come March 2018.