Ultra brings more harm than good to Miami

Ultra Music Festival is a hub for EDM, encouraging people from all over the world to travel to Miami each year. However, quite a bit of controversy has surrounded the festival in recent years. It has become less about supporting music and DJs and more about drug use and racy outfits. The massive, rowdy crowds along with the abundance of drugs and alcohol have put many attendees in danger. An event that used to be uplifting and celebratory is now an event people reconsider going to out of fear.

Contrary to most of my peers, I am not the biggest fan of Ultra, mostly because of the reputation it has given the city I know and love. Ultra paints Miami and its residents as nothing more than a rave culture city, and people fail to see that our city is so much more than that.

Miami is already known as a party city, but Ultra has magnified that image to the point where the wild behavior is all people see when Miami comes to mind. It’s no ordinary music festival, in that the music aspect has taken a backseat.

These assumptions about party culture leave very little room for more meaningful connections and experiences in Miami. This is fine for tourists who come, spend a couple of wild nights here and leave Miami behind when they return to reality. But the transience of this party city leaves residents in limbo, in an environment that capitalizes on superficial connections and a lack of authenticity. If Miami only prides itself on having the best parties, those who visit will think that is all we have to offer and never look beneath the surface.

Events such as Ultra not only give Miami a raunchy reputation but also threaten the safety of attendees. Ultra does generate money for the city, but if people are leaving Ultra in ambulances, it might be time to prioritize well-being over revenue. No amount of money is worth people getting hurt.

I am a strong supporter of the music industry, but recently Ultra has done more harm than good. We must speak up when these grave situations take place at Ultra in order to prevent further harm. The city of Miami owes it to its residents to provide a comfortable and sustainable concert environment so those visiting see that the city really cares about its people. It would greatly benefit both residents and tourists if this event ceased to operate, at least until the organizers can ensure the safety of attendees.

Nicole Macias is a freshman majoring in English.

Featured image courtesy Flickr user juan pablo gascon. 

March 29, 2017


Nicole Macias

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Ultra brings more harm than good to Miami”

  1. Armin van Buuren says:

    I have been to 8 Ultra’s, the first 4 and the last 4 and I will say it’s my favorite event of the year. I go for the music, as do many of the people there, quite a few who are from all over the world, not just Miami. Are there people doing drugs there, of course there are, but that’s not to say you go to any music festival, EDM or otherwise, and people aren’t doing just as many drugs at those. The amount of money Ultra brings in for the city, as well as MMW, is undeniable and they have also made a huge effort to increase security so not to encounter some of the problems of the past. I am not sure what “harm” it is doing to the city, downtown isn’t suffering because of it, downtown is dead on the weekends anyway, I work downtown. The homeless people have to relocate themselves elsewhere for 2 weeks, big deal. Ultra will continue to thrive here because so many people love the music and the DJs. If you want to pick out an event that needs to be discontinued how about Memorial Day weekend on South Beach, possible the most unsafe event in South Florida, by a wide margin, it makes Ultra look like Disney World.

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