Ultra Music Festival and WMC Hash it Out

Ultra stays put the last weekend of March. WMC moves to second weekend.

The organizers of the Ultra Music Festival and the Winter Music Conference commented about the scheduling difficulties happening this March in Miami. For those of you unfamiliar with the details — the Ultra Music Festival, one of the largest electronic fests in the world, usually coincides with the WMC, thus delivering one hell of a weekend of music.

This year, Ultra informed WMC that the two wouldn’t be working together this year. WMC organizers said they were “blindsided by Ultra’s last minute announcement this morning” in a press release.

Ultra’s response is that, “due to WMC’s claim to us that they could not secure a convention host hotel on the last week of March to meet their facility requirements as a conference, they chose to go on the second week.” There happens to another festival this weekend and Ultra organizers believed that “it was a bad idea to move the dates to the second week of the month with such short notice to the public, as it would cause serious logistical and financial issues to fans that have already confirmed and purchased travel to Miami for the last week.”

Both press releases are below:

Winter Music Conference
March 8 – 12, 2011
Miami Beach, FL

***For Immediate Release***

November 17, 2010

At 12:57am today, Winter Music Conference’s founding Director’s received an email from Ultra Music Festival notifying them that the 2011 Ultra Music Festival would not be presented during and in conjunction with the 2011 Winter Music Conference. The notification was served despite a signed October 15, 2009 contract between the two entities which stated that the 2011 Ultra Music Festival would be presented during the five-day period in February, March or April 2011 designated and promoted by WMC as the ‘WMC week’. WMC organizers say “We were blindsided by Ultra’s last minute announcement this morning.”

“The date selection is based exclusively on venue availability. We present one of the most extensive programs of the year during peak season in Miami Beach. We are constantly developing our program in order to provide the best possible venues and hotels at the best possible terms for the artists, delegates and program participants.” Traditionally the WMC dates have ranged from mid February to the end of March.

“WMC remains committed to the artists, delegates and fans that have made the program what it has become over the last 25 years. The festivals, Ultra and many others, are amazing experiences for the fans and artists alike. By contrast the quintessential WMC experience is really about the camaraderie between pioneering artists and industry legends – walking into a club or pool party and seeing your favorite artists up on stage performing amongst their own peers. It is the unrehearsed chemistry that goes along with the amazing aggregation of artists, industry and fans converged on Miami Beach that make these once in a lifetime collaborations happen everywhere you turn – from the panel discussions and meetings to the incredible sounds coming from every nook and cranny across Miami Beach for five days straight. Our passion has always been about the love of music. We don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

Ultra Music Festival Statement

Posted on: November 18, 2010

To all music fans, artists, agents, managers, promoters, labels, sponsors and Ultra supporters who share our belief that it is all about the music:

Ultra Music Festival would like to address certain points in light of recent announcements made.

While the circumstances that have taken place this year have rendered it impossible for Ultra Music Festival and WMC to coincide on the same dates in 2011, we will use our best efforts to try and work with WMC and coordinate dates together in 2012.

First and foremost, Ultra Music Festival has always been an avid supporter of WMC and is grateful for the many years of working together with them. Throughout those years of our partnership Ultra has always admitted WMC delegates into the festival for free, speaking volumes to Ultra’s commitment and support of the music scene. It is with great disappointment that we could not host Ultra during the same week as WMC in 2011.

Due to WMC’s claim to us that they could not secure a convention host hotel on the last week of March to meet their facility requirements as a conference, they chose to go on the second week.

Unfortunately WMC did not take into consideration that during the second week of March the city of Miami hosts the annual Calle Ocho street fair, which attracts more than one million people into Downtown Miami for this free event. As much as we felt it was a bad idea to move the dates to the second week of the month with such short notice to the public, as it would cause serious logistical and financial issues to fans that have already confirmed and purchased travel to Miami for the last week, Ultra used absolute best efforts to maintain the relationship with WMC and join them in the move to the second week. However, this was rendered impossible by the City of Miami police department as they do not have the resources to host Ultra Music Festival and Calle Ocho in Miami on the same weekend due to the fact that all police resources will be outsourced to the one million person annual event.

WMC was notified of this by UMF in writing months in advance of this week’s announcement.

Second, being the last weekend in March in recent history has caused artists and everyone in the industry to rely on these dates to make their touring plans; same goes with music lovers who plan as much in advance to control the costs associated with their trip. We never felt comfortable letting those people down. We always felt a move like this would have to be done well over a year in advance to allow time for proper planning. Large-scale events and festivals traditionally do not move their dates around year to year.

Third, after UMF was notified of the possibility of WMC’s intentions of moving to the second week, we aligned ourselves with every contact and resource we had on Miami Beach to try and secure a host hotel for them on the last weekend as the second weekend was not possible for UMF as stated above. For various reasons, the options we presented were somehow not good enough for them to remain on the last weekend together with us.

Ultra Music Festival is one of the best consumer value propositions in the festival business. The price paid for each day at Ultra is equal to or in many cases less than what is paid to attend a single nightclub for one night. Three full days of Ultra includes 32 hours of more than 300 artists, DJs and bands programmed on 30 stages collectively. Ultra, like most major music festivals around the country, features exclusive performances by many artists, increasing the value of the festival experience.

Our fans agree as the on-sale launch this week shattered past ticketing performances with an increase of over 5,000 percent! We are on pace to sell out Ultra in advance this year.

UMF guarantees all of our loyal long time supporters and new fans alike that we have been humbly working harder than ever throughout the last eight months on producing this festival and the confirmed line-up is extremely impressive. Hands down the best Ultra has ever presented. Once again UMF will set the standard for EDM festival programming and production worldwide.

Born during a sweaty, backstage, Bonnaroo downpour, the Chief Festival Junkie's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to every great festival that this wide world has to offer. While his identity remains a mystery, you may have already met him, probably when he helped himself to your party favors.

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