Downtown Residents work hard, play even harder during Ultra

Main Stage - Photo by Rudgr

Main Stage – Photo by Rudgr

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Grant Miller, Publisher

Every year on a Friday in late March, Downtown offices empty out and young professionals hurry back to their apartments to trade their wingtips and stilettos for casual neon trainers. The Metromover transports thousands of these young professionals to the front gates of Bayfront Park.

They are headed to Ultra Music Festival, a three-day electronic dance music festival, showcasing the world’s best DJs and electronic dance musicians. The festival has something for everyone, showcasing the biggest names in mainstream and underground dance music. Attracting both local and international audiences alike, the festival already has predictably sold out its 2018 edition. This year, event organizers expect a total of 165,000 festival-goers over the weekend.

Young professionals from all over the world look forward to attending Ultra and Miami Music Week. It is a place where local lawyers, accountants, bankers and consultants, among other professionals, can recharge with their favorite music. While many travel thousands of miles to attend Ultra, others are lucky enough to live just a few short blocks away.

For Miami residents, there is no need for flights, hotels or rental cars because the event is just a short hop from their apartments, giving them the ability to safely commute to and from the festival. Ultra has partnered with both Uber and Miami-Dade Transit to allow festival-goers to get into Bayfront Park to minimize traffic impact.

Ultra Music Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Mar. 23-25. Last year the festival brought in a whopping $148 million in economic impact to Miami-Dade County. Ultra has attracted young people from all over the world to visit Miami-Dade, specifically for the festival during Miami Music Week. Many of them visit the area for the first time because of Ultra then later decide to call South Florida their home, while other young professionals visit and enjoy South Florida as students during their college career for the bustling art, nightlife and culture scene.

My sons have attended Ultra several times and look forward to the festival every year. Many of their childhood friends, who currently attend universities like Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale or work on Wall Street, travel back to Miami for Ultra weekend and stay at our home. Each night, I pick them up from the Metrorail station and hear their excited stories from a full day of dancing. They have made friends with other attendees from all over the world and stay in touch with them in-between festivals.

This what it is all about — good music and good friends.

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