Miami's Rapture Festival starts legal battle with Ultra Music Festival over venue

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  • The smaller festival filed a cease and desist to Ultra, which was given permission to take place at the same venue on the same weekend.
  • Miami's Rapture Festival starts legal battle with Ultra Music Festival over venue image
  • Rapture Festival has hit Ultra Music Festival with a cease and desist letter after Ultra took over Rapture's planned venue, Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami. When Miami city commissioners approved Ultra's plans to relocate to Virginia Key, they displaced Rapture Festival, which was set to happen in the park the same weekend. The Miami Herald reports Rapture's lawyer has sent Ultra and the city a cease a desist letter demanding Ultra cease applying for permits or risk being sued. "We are investigating this matter further and if [you] do not immediately withdraw your application that directly interferes with our client’s planned festival time and location, we will be taking immediate action against you, the City and Virginia Key Beach Park Trust," reads the letter from Rapture’s attorney, Paul K. Silverberg. He goes on to state the city had an understanding that Rapture would continue to occupy Virginia Key for the next three years. Ultra agreed to pay the city $2 million and submit to a license review following its 2019 edition, set to run from March 29th through April 1st. Last September, the city voted to remove Ultra from its regular home, Bayfront Park, after neighbors complained about noise and the amount of time music festivals and other large events occupied the park. Ultra is currently in the process of submitting environmental reports and making plans to shuttle attendees, which could number 40,000 per day, onto Virginia Key island via a system of water taxis and buses. They will need a permit from Miami-Dade County’s Division Of Environmental Resources Management to construct a temporary dock on the island and must also provide plans on how to keep attendees out of protected wetlands, ensure the safety of manatees and limit pollution. We'll have more on the story as it develops.