Ultra came and went. For the first time in Ultra Music Festival’s 15-year history, the event was held over two weekends from March 15th to the 24th. Ultra took over Downtown Miami.
With the music starting Friday afternoon, Downtown workers and residents had to accommodate the festival into their daily lives for two weeks. Ultra brought an estimated 170,000 guests and locals together at an amazingly popular festival that is arguably the best in the world for electronic dance music (EDM).
Ultra puts Miami on the international “cool” radar, attracting mostly 18 to 20-somethings to party at Downtown’s Bayfront Park. It exposes the young generation to a new Downrown Miami, potentially encouraging them to make the city their new home when they start looking for jobs. A bit too idealistic, I know, but hey. Win, win.
Getting 170,000 people in and around Downtown is no easy feat. Although most non-local Ultra-goers stay in Downtown and Brickell hotels, most locals get to Ultra via Metrorail. Driving around Downtown during Ultra is asking for hours of gridlock and good luck finding parking because rates in the area were starting anywhere from $20-$50. The Metro is the fastest, cheapest and most convenient way to reach Ultra.
The Metromover was packed both weekends, with station platforms and trains overcrowded during Ultra days. Proof of how necessary a good transit system is for our region. Having Metrorail and Metromover really comes in handy for major events like this. As Downtown continues to grow, our rail transit systems will prove to be the bond that keeps the area running. 170,000 in cars can’t and won’t work.