A chaotic first night left attendees stranded on the festival's island
Attendees have labelled this year’s Ultra Music Festival in Miami “Fyre Festival 2″ after thousands were left stranded on the event’s island.
The electronic music festival, held for the first time on Florida’s Virginia Key this year, wrapped its first day in the small hours of Saturday (March 30) with approximately 50,000 ticketholders waiting for buses to return them to the mainland.
Long queues for the 200 hired coaches are said to have started at around 1am local time. Spin reported that some frustrated concertgoers walked more than two miles across the Rickenbacker Causeway back to Miami.
One attendee wrote on Twitter: “.@ultra 2019 or Fyre Fest 2.0? Only one way off this island at 2am w/ zero transportation. 80k+ people stranded.
#Ultra2019″, while another wrote: “@ultra just turned into fyre festival. No way off this island and @ultra staff ignoring questions.”
The organisers of the festival released the following statement yesterday (March 30) via Twitter.
“Last night, many of you experienced challenging transportation conditions leaving the festival. This is unacceptable and inconsistent with the high standards you have come to expect from us. For this, we are sorry.
“As you might expect, we have already been working cooperatively with our city and county partners to promptly address and resolve these issues. We look forward to offering you a significantly improved transportation experience today and throughout the weekend, and we appreciate the opportunity to earn back your confidence and trust.”
In addition, on Friday afternoon a new DJ called “Colonel Sanders” took to the stage as part of a corporate stunt that other DJs performing at the festival labelled “a joke”.
The KFC DJ, dressed in a string tie T-shirt and enormous bobble-headed costume, introduced his set with a prerecorded message, “Any of y’all hungry for some beats?”
Louis the Child called Ultra “a joke with corporate promotional nonsense” on Twitter. Elsewhere, Alex Metric said: “Ultra selling ad space on the EDM Main stage at one of the most commercial festivals feels like some horrendous logical conclusion to the direction that part of dance music has been heading in,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s not exactly Ronald McDonald at Berghain is it.”
This year’s edition – the 21st – was moved to Virginia Key after Ultra failed to renew their lease to operate in its usual downtown spot of Miami’s Bayfront Park.