Ultra Music Festival was one of the first events to be cancelled, affected by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, back in March. Often considered the beginning of festival season for fans of dance music, the Miami festival was set to return to Bayfront Park this year after a brief stint at Virginia Key in 2019. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side.
UMF is one of the few major festival brands that hasn’t adopted live streaming during the pandemic. EDC, Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Lightning in a Bottle, and more have crafted varying degrees of successful streams, but Ultra has been largely absent from everything. In the meantime, the festival has been assisting with outreach and philanthropic endeavors in its native Miami.
In June, Ultra representatives joined city officials in conducting door-to-door deliveries of masks for residents at two government-subsidized senior living facilities. Since the CDC identified older adults as the highest-risk population for contracting severe illness from COVID-19, Ultra and iHeartRaves made it their mission to prioritize this vulnerable demographic.
Throughout July, masks were supplied within 4,000 care packages across two events in the Liberty City area. Hadley Park hosted a hurricane preparedness drive-through giveaway that offered masks alongside natural disaster supplies. Additionally, Ultra staffers distributed care packages at a Brownsville senior center which included masks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, snacks and a book of brain teasers like Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
“Our Buy A Mask, Give A Mask program enables our customers to help those on the front lines while purchasing a face mask at a fair price,” says iHeartRaves CEO/founder Brian Lim. “During this time of crisis, we wanted to make sure that we were still able to give back to the community. We chose to partner with Ultra on this initiative for the same reasons we partner with them during the festival season. We wanted to enhance the positive impact we could have on the EDM community by joining forces with other leaders in the space.”
In total, Ultra and iHeartRaves have donated 12,000 masks to communities in need this summer.