MIAMI (CelebrityAccess) With the Ultra Music Festival about to launch in its new site on Virginia Key near Miami, a lawsuit claims the City of Miami sidestepped a competitive bidding process.
The Brickell Homeowners Association and Miami resident Christopher Mullin claim the city misrepresented its agreement with Ultra as a license, rather than a lease, and thereby skirted a bidding process required by the city charter, according to the Miami New Times.
“Virginia Key is an utterly inappropriate venue for Ultra,” David Winker, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the paper in an email. “The City of Miami circumvented its own laws and disenfranchised its own citizens to force this deal through — a deal that is a disaster for the environment and our residents.”
The city, which owns the property on Virginia Key where the festival is expected to take place March 29-31, is alleged to skipped steps required before leasing the land to a private entity, including advertising the opportunity for a lease, waiting 90 days for proposals, and gathering at least three, according to the New Times. Ultra apparently got a break from those requirements because the agreement was characterized as a license instead of a lease; the lawsuit claims it’s a license in name only.
The tactic was first introduced last year by downtown residents trying to remove Ultra from Bayfront Park, according to the Miami Herald.
Recently, the Rapture Music Festival, which is scheduled to take place on Virginia Key during the same weekend as Ultra, filed suit claiming the EDM event violated antitrust laws, but the suit was dismissed.