Miami music festival canceled amid coronavirus threat: reports

The Ultra Music Festival slated to happen later this month in Miami has been canceled, according to media reports, as city leaders previously expressed concerns over the three-day mass gathering amid fears that the new coronavirus could spread.

Some Miami elected officials had called for the festival that attracts music lovers from around the world to be suspended. The cancelation will be the first time in the festival’s 21-year history that it will not go on as planned.

It was originally supposed to happen from March 20-22 at the city’s Bayfront Park. The decision to cancel was made in a Wednesday meeting between Miami’s elected leaders and Ultra organizers, the Miami Herald reported.

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“The decision was made to postpone it,” Commissioner Manolo Reyestold the newspaper, adding that the city map postponed another large event this month. “And now I’m worried about the Calle Ocho Festival.”

It was not clear how long the delay would last, but the paper cited unnamed sources saying the deal between the city and Ultra would postpone the event until 2021.

“We’re working on a plan with them, and I’ll formally announce it on Friday,” City Manager Art Noriega told the Herald. “The devil’s in the details. I haven’t seen the actual draft of the agreement.”

On Wednesday, Maimi Mayor Francis Suarez said residents had asked the city to consider canceling the festival, which has a capacity of 55,000 people per day, or postpone it.

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“I can tell you that just in the last 24 hours, I have received countless emails and messages of all kinds urging the city to act,” Suarez said. “That is another major motivator to have this conversation before it gets too late.”

He added that the city had the authority to cancel the event but hasn’t as of yet.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez tweeted Tuesday that plans for the festival would continue after receiving guidance from the state surgeon general.

“The county continues to monitor all information from federal and state health authorities for any changes in risk levels, and protocols will change as needed,” Gimenez’s office told Fox News.

Messages from Fox News to event organizers were not immediately returned.

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Florida has three confirmed coronavirus cases, according to information from Johns Hopkins University.

An Ultra Music Festival event expected to run from Thursday to Friday in Abu Dhabi was canceled, according to Billboard. Organizers haven’t given a reason for the cancellation.

The United Arab Emirates has 27 confirmed coronavirus cases.

“The local organizers of Ultra Abu Dhabi have canceled the upcoming event,” the festival announced. “Tickets will be refunded through original point of purchase.”

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