Miami‘s ginormous Ultra Music Festival is in damage control after Day One of the event went to shits over transportation services.
This is Ultra’s first year on the small island of Virginia Key after almost 20 years at Bayfront Park. The festival was forced to move when the City of Miami Commission voted to deny a new five-year agreement for the festival to stay at the park.
As night one came to an end at 2:00am, tens of thousands of punters headed to the planned shuttle services that would take them off the island. But the fleet of 55-passenger shuttles were unable to cope with the demand. Miami Herald reports Ultra had ordered more than 200 buses to take people to three hubs on the mainland so they could return to their own cars or order an Uber.
Unfortunately for Ultra, things did not go to plan.
The hashtag #FyreFestival2 soon flooded social media with complaints of disorganisation and confusion. Lines were so long, thousands of concertgoers chose to walk the almost five kilometres across the Rickenbacker Causeway to make it back to the mainland.
I’ve seen some tempers flare here. People confused above which bus to get on. Just talked to Shadey Gramajo, who said she waited an hour and a half in the wrong line and was sent to another line.— Joey Flechas (@joeflech) March 30, 2019
Weary and frustrated, Ultra fans call for Lyfts and Ubers while sitting on the curb on Brickell Avenue. pic.twitter.com/q1tDnwYUBz— Joey Flechas (@joeflech) March 30, 2019
In an official statement, Ultra said their transportation services were “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 our 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.”
Come Day Two, Ultra’s shuttle services were still not impressing people.
Instead of thousands walking in the road, on night 2 @ultra has thousands locked inside its gates. Bus lines are easily 3-4 hours long, and most don’t realize it yet. Organizers tried, but there’s no way around it: Ultra can’t stay at Virginia Key. #FyreFestival2— David Costello (@DavidCos8192) March 31, 2019
Different attempt, same result. Thousands of @ultra concert-goers still have to walk across the causeway because of astronomically long lines for the buses. Many are struggling on the trek back to their homes. Look out for one another out there. #FyreFestival2— David Costello (@DavidCos8192) March 31, 2019
The complaints were not limited to transport though. KFC bought a time slot for the one and only Colonel Sanders to perform on the main stage on Friday night – their opening night. And while some people absolutely loved it and thought it was funny, others were not impressed. Like Marshmello – DJ with the big marshmallow helmet – who headlined Ultra on the same night.
playing ultra music festival today!!! big day for me personally, it has always been a dream of mine to share the stage with legendary artists like *checks notes* kfc— G JONES (@gjonesbass) March 30, 2019
Alison Wonderland also voiced her thoughts on Twitter, describing the set as “so awkward”.
“WTF is this cringe … There are some of the most amazing up and coming artists who should be seen and who deserve to be seen. Yuk.”
Nah. It’s tacky. They could have found a better way that doesn’t cheapen what we do— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 30, 2019