MIAMI, Fla. – After a two year pause from the pandemic the Ultra Music Festival is returning to Bayfront Park this weekend back at its original home in Downtown Miami.
This year for its 10th anniversary, the festival is making a huge effort to minimize its environmental footprint and encourage partiers to be more conscious.
Three years ago Ultra organizers partnered with volunteer clean-up as the festival launched its mission home initiative to reduce Ultra’s environmental impact and inspire the community to protect the planet.
“Just having people realize that they are personally responsible for their space is so important. My hope is that people leave the festival and continue to behave that way,” said Vivian Blezaguy, Ultra’s director of sustainability.
Ultra launched mission home in 2019 in Virginia Key which was the last Ultra music fest before the pandemic hit.
Festival-goers were welcomed into an eco village with messages reinforcing more sustainable living.
There was no plastic, no Styrofoam, and food vendors only using compostable food service wares with bye-bye plastic crews picking up any trash on the ground.
Ultra’s commitment to sustainability was on full display a couple of weeks ago when several local clean up groups joined forces with festival team members, deploying their eco-army of volunteers to clean up the park as the stages were being built.
“Everyone comes here and they don’t think about the impact. You know about throwing out garbage microplastics bottles like it’s insane the amount of garbage that we’ve picked up,” volunteer Liz Rivas said.
At the end of the day, 1089 pounds of trash was bagged.
“We are so lucky to be here in such a beautiful space, and that this is our home. They’ve integrated this into their entire practice,” said Dave Doebler, co-founder of Volunteer Clean Up.
Those initiatives are back again this year, but this time Ultra wants partiers to be even more plastic free.
“Their goal is to be one of the most sustainable music festivals in the country,” Doebler said.
Leave the plastic water bottles at home and bring hydration packs instead because there will be free water refill stations, according to organizers.
Ultra will also be handing out pocket ashtrays, so cigarette butts aren’t tossed on the ground.
“If Ultra starts to do it, you know, other companies that are throwing events might say, hey, look, maybe we should start working that into our, our system and that’s how it spreads,” founder of Sent It 4 The Sea Theo Quenee said.