The organizers of the proposed Miami Beach Pop Festival the weekend following Art Basel have asked to withdraw the item from the March Commission agenda. After two public meetings to discuss the idea, City Manager Jimmy Morales wrote Commissioners that “City staff has serious concerns that this proposed event would not be suitable for the time or location proposed, and would pose serious challenges in regards to staffing and securing the event.”
In an email to Miami Beach Tourism, Culture, and Economic Director Eva Silverstein, co-producer Steve Sybesma said “We are listening to all of the concerns of the community and the city and will address them in great detail. Please withdraw the agenda item regarding the proposed Miami Beach Pop Festival from the March agenda, so that we have more time to prepare. We will be in contact shortly.”
Sybesma expanded on that in an email to RE:MiamiBeach:
"After careful consideration of input from key City services and the community, we have decided to move the proposed Miami Beach Pop Festival from the December period to an alternative time in 2019. This necessitates redevelopment of the site plan, security, sanitation, parking, traffic and other issues. Therefore we have withdrawn from the Commission agenda in March.
"We are carefully considering the feedback of residents and are working closely with key officials to make sure that we present a highly organized, responsibly produced cultural event that enhances Miami Beach, something that residents will be proud of and enjoy. We are diligently following the permit process, and will be asking for a conditional approval from the Commission, pending approval of city requirements. Although we intend for this to be an annual event, we are only asking for a first-year permit. We will prove our value to the residents and the city in order to make this an annual tradition."
At the first public meeting, residents raised concerns about the environmental impact and cleanup, traffic, parking and public safety issues, as well as event fatigue immediately after Art Basel. The second meeting was a bit more positive but the concerns were not alleviated.