A federal lawsuit alleging antitrust violations by the city of Miami and Ultra Music Festival has been dismissed pending the submission of an amended complaint.
U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued an order to show cause Tuesday, stating the case brought against the city and electronic music festival by Rapture Electronic Music Festival “suffers from a facial defect,” namely, “it does not allege that Plaintiff has suffered any sort of injury that would give it standing.”
The federal judge wrote Rapture “relies exclusively on conclusory allegations of conspiracy backed by no factual allegations whatsoever” to make the case Ultra colluded with the city to tighten its grip on Miami’s musical economy.
The claims in Rapture’s complaint stem from the Miami City Commission’s approval of Ultra’s move to Virginia Key for March 29-31. Rapture, a much smaller gathering, had previously used Virginia Key as its venue and had begun to sell tickets for its 2019 festival. Although that event was originally scheduled for March 29 and 30, organizers say Ultra’s move to Virginia Key jeopardized its future.
Ungaro’s order allows the plaintiff to enter a modified complaint by Wed. Feb. 13. However, it warned “If the court must dismiss the complaint again for failure to state a claim, it will do so with prejudice.”
“The suit was not dismissed,” Paul Silverberg, the Weston attorney representing Rapture, said in a statement. He added his team would amend the complaint in a “timely” fashion.
Miami City Attorney Victoria Mendez said the city is “happy with the result.” Sandy York and Michael Gaid, Ultra’s respective general and associate counsel, did not reply to requests for comment by deadline. The Virginia Key Beach Trust also did not respond by press time.
Read the order: