The 17th annual Ultra Music Festival invites a new lineup of electronic dance veterans and newcomers alike to Bayfront Park for a weekend-long reverie.
This year will also be the first festival after the passing of co-founder Alex Omes on Jan. 12. He was 43.
The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner department did not disclose the exact cause of death, but did mention that foul play had not been ruled out. Omes died before making his first court appearance in the multimillion-dollar case against his previous partner and co-founder of Ultra – Russell Faibisch.
“It just seems too much of a coincidence that he didn’t even make it to the first day in court,” said Omes’ older brother Carlos Omes.
The case was Omes’ attempt to regain control over the now massive festival. His brother asserts that Omes wanted to prove that his partner attempted to oust him out of multiple business deals, specifically, involving new shareholders without Omes’ consent or knowledge.
Omes had been preparing with his attorney with great effort, according to Carlos Omes. Faibisch retaliates with the argument that Omes was a liability most of the time, and that he, along with his temperament, was the direct reason many important sponsors dropped out of deals with the festival.
For most of the ’90s, Omes was working hard and passionately in Miami’s exponentially growing nightlife scene. He was a bouncer at Cameo, and more significantly, in 1995 became the publisher of his own dance music magazine D’VOX, which chronicled Miami’s underground electronic music scene.
A day after his passing, festival officials said in a press release to the Miami New Times, “(We) extend our deepest condolences to the family of Alex Omes. … We will continue to remember and celebrate Alex for his love, passion and contributions to the EDM community.”