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Ultra Music Festival kicks off in Virginia Key

Many residents not thrilled about change of venue from downtown Miami

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. – The annual Ultra Music Festival kicked off Friday afternoon as EDM fans from around the world descended on Virginia Key.

The festival moved from its Bayfront Park location in downtown Miami to Virginia Key this year. 

"I've been three years," one festival-goer, Griffin Watson, said. "I mean, all my favorite artists come here. It's like the first show of the year where you actually get to see all the artists perform."

While the waterfront venue has Ultra fans excited, residents are not thrilled about their new weekend neighbors.

"We live a nice, quiet life here and we would like to keep it that way. It's three days of inconvenience, basically," one Key Biscayne resident, Maricel, said. "I think it's going to be a huge mess. I think the traffic is going to be horrible."

There are also major environmental concerns, including how a festival of this scope and size will have an adverse effect on local wildlife. 

In response, Ultra created its Mission Home campaign to reduce the event's waste and its effects on the Virginia Key ecosystem.

There is also no parking available at the festival. 

Fans are urged to take free shuttles and free ferry rides to the venue. 

Ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, can take festival-goers to one of three designated hubs, but they will not be allowed to pick people up. 

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