Ultra Music Festival Continues and Improves Sustainability Efforts

After quite a rocky year, Ultra Music Festival will be continuing and improving their sustainability efforts come 2020.

Miami commissioners kicked Ultra out of their 18 year home, in the heart of downtown, last year. Ultra was forced to relocate to Virginia Key Beach this year, and was faced with criticisms from every direction.

Studies came out detailing the environmental impact of having Ultra at Virginia Key Park. According to University of Miami researchers, local toadfish acquired higher stress levels with loud sounds. The long term effects, however, were inconclusive.

With Mission: Home, Ultra Music Festival plans to continue and improve its sustainability efforts.

Mission: Home initiatives avoided the use of 526,000 single-use plastic items and diverted 60,360 pounds of waste from landfills. 31% of the waste created during the festival was recycled or composted and 100% of recycling loads were accepted by the local facility.

“This event has set the bar very high for all events… We were astonished at how clean the park was from the start of each day to the end of each day,” Virginia Key Beach Park Trust Special Events Liaison Michelle Swaby wrote in an email to the City of Miami Commissioners. “Even the attendees did their part in throwing trash in the proper receptacles.”

Ultra even scored an “A” on their overall sustainability efforts for last year. Local environmental organizations VolunteerCleanup.org, Surfrider Miami, and Debris Free Oceans collaborated on an unbiased, third-party report card detailing Ultra’s achievements and key learnings, giving the festival an overall first-year sustainability grade of an ‘A’. Of the 19 initiatives that received an individual grade, 14 received a grade of A- or higher.

Ultra has faced some significant backlash in the past year. In my opinion, what they’ve planned and done in such a short amount of time for the environment is wonderful. Not many large scale festivals can say the same.

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