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Miami cancels two music festivals scheduled for later this month amid fears of the coronavirus

Calle Ocho, Ultra both canceled
Miami cancels two music festivals scheduled for later this month amid fears of the coronavirus
Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 12:59:38-05

Two music festivals in Miami have been canceled amid the outbreak of COVID-19, or the coronavirus.

Mayor Francis Suarez announced Friday that the city did not approve a special events permit for the Calle Ocho Music Festival. It's currently unclear if or when the festival would be rescheduled.

"We are emphasizing to the public that this decision is not a cause for alarm or panic, but rather that we are doing it in an abundance of caution," he said.

Calle Ocho was scheduled to take place on March 15. The festival is part of Carnaval Miami and raises money for social programs.

Suarez said that as COVID-19 cases increase, public events and mass gatherings create a risk by increasing person-to-person contact.

The decision came from CDC guidelines, which define "mass gatherings" as those with 25,000 people or more.

"With this in mind, we have chosen to take a point of preventative action with our residents in mind," Suarez said.

Suarez's announcement came the same day that Ultra Music Festival tweeted that would not hold it's festival this year. The electronic music festival was scheduled to take place on March 20-22.

"We completely understand how extremely frustrating this is because so many of you are looking forward to coming to Ultra, having already made travel arrangements," the statement read, "This is, however, an unprecedented issue which is not being taken lightly and we must continue to defer to authorities for guidance. "

Organizers said the next Ultra Music Festival would take place on March 26-28, 2021.

The decision was made while working with representatives of Ultra and Calle Ocho. The mayor hopes to continue work with them and help lessen the impact of the postponements on the organizations.

This story was originally published by Jo Fuller on WSFL in Miami.