While Miami’s Ultra Music Festival controversy seems to have cooled off, cities like Toronto are following suit with their own polarizing debates and taking action with regard to EDM’s presence in their community.
Miami officials have withdrawn their request to have the festival banned from returning, according to an announcement from UMF. Politicians called for an end to the festival after an unfortunate incident left a security guard in critical condition.
UMF announced via Facebook April 10 that opponents recalled their demand to ban the event, and the festival would indeed return to Miami in 2015 pending a discussion with the Miami City Commission April 24.
Citing similar concerns for the safety of young fans and the image of the city as a whole, government officials voted to ban EDM events from city-owned property in Toronto’s Exhibition Place (pictured below) April 11.
Introduced by councilor Giorgio Mammoliti, the motion to no longer award permits for electronic music events at City-controlled venues in the building complex passed 4-3 when voted upon by the Exhibition Place Board of Governors. The Toronto Sun reports that opponents of the ban argue that this will push the events back into “unsafe” underground venues, putting attendees at risk and costing the city-owned facilities around $1 million in annual revenue. EDM promoters will still be able to hold events in privately owned venues like Muzik, a nightclub operating in Exhibition Place.
The motion was introduced after representatives from Muzik wrote to the board with concerns that the large-scale, one-time events in Ex Place were, “causing booking problems for its business and ‘negative public relations issues.'” Muzik owner Zlatko Starkovski remained a primary supporter of the ban, arguing that the events in City-owned venues are also a major concern for the safety of Toronto’s youth.
Exhibition Place staff publicly recommended not to ban the events, to which Mammoliti replied, “If a child dies at this venue would you be prepared to resign your position?”
Councillor Gord Perks opposed the motion, telling The Sun that he was looking into a way to overturn the decision.
“I’m concerned that we’re going to lose a safe, well-monitored venue space for young people and all-ages events and drive them back underground where it is really dangerous,” Perks said.
Read the full story here, and check back for more updates on the future of large-scale EDM in Miami and Toronto.