Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Calle Ocho canceled due to coronavirus fears

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MIAMI, FL – MARCH 23: General view of atmosphere at Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park on March 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images)

It’s official. Coronavirus fears have led to the cancellation of the three-day Ultra electronic dance music festival in Miami, and Miami’s annual Calle Ocho Music Festival, according to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

The EDM Ultra festival, which has a capacity of 55,000 people per day, many of them visitors from more than 100 countries, was set to run the weekend of March 20 at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami.

Jammed into a small area, city officials feel it’s a perfect breeding venue for a highly infectious virus.


City leaders also canceled this year’s Calle Ocho Festival, which was set to take place Sunday, March 15. It’s described as the largest Latin festival in the country.

“We are emphasizing to the public that this decision is not a cause for alarm, but we are doing it in an abundance of caution,” said Mayor Suarez during a Friday morning news conference.

Suarez said the decision was made to cancel the events based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

“As COVID-19 coronavirus cases continue to rise, public gatherings can pose a risk by increasing person to person contact, often putting groups in close proximity to one another. We are obtaining this guidance from the CDC which defines mass gatherings as those with 25,000 people or more. With this in mind, we have decided to take a pointed preventative action in the best interest of our resident’s health and well being,” said Suarez.

Suarez said they are taking “concrete steps” to work with the organizers of Ultra and Calle Ocho, and their sponsors, to mitigate the impact of the cancellation and work with them through the year to allow them to “continue to fulfill their mission to this community.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how the cancelation will affect people who bought tickets.

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