If you live in Broward or Palm Beach counties, stay away from parts of Miami this weekend — unless nightmarish traffic tie-ups are your thing.
More than 55,000 mostly young electronic music lovers are expected to invade our shores this weekend for the annual extravaganza known as the Ultra Music Festival. (Just to give you an indication of how big this event has become: Last year's two-weekend event drew more than 330,000 from 95 countries.)
Ground zero for this year's music bacchanalia is downtown Miami. Biscayne Boulevard will be rerouted but not shut down, Miami Police Department spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.
She suggests avoiding driving to the downtown area altogether and taking public transportation. Around the same area, Jay Leno plays the Adrienne Arsht Center on Sunday and Disney on Ice will be at AmericanAirlines Arena both Saturday and Sunday.
Ultra's lineup of more than 200 artists will include electronica mainstays such as Tiesto, as well as alternative singer M.I.A, grime rapper Dizzee Rascal, plus Fort Lauderdale's own rising DJ Diplo.
Avicii, whose single "Wake Me Up!" ranked No. 1 and 2 on Billboard's dance/electronic songs chart for 26 weeks, had been scheduled to perform Saturday night at Bayfront Park. But the Swedish DJ (real name: Tim Bergling) was hospitalized and had to cancel his pre-Ultra show Thursday night at his own satellite festival in the SLS Hotel South Beach.
The 24-year-old Tweeted on Friday night that he would be having his gall bladder removed Saturday morning.
"I woke up on Wednesday morning with serious pain but I flew to Miami anyway, hoping that it would go away," he wrote. "The pain was still there when I landed so I went straight to hospital. I was treated and left later that night. Unfortunately, the pain came back [Thursday] afternoon and I returned to the hospital where they admitted me to stay overnight.
"It's a routine procedure and all going well, I expect to be fully recovered and back on my feet in time for my US True tour. Thanks for your concern everyone, it means a lot to me!"
Utra announced Friday that deadmau5 will replace Avicii as Saturday's headliner.
"The world-renowned electronic music producer will step in to helm a main stage spot as Avicii is no longer scheduled to appear due to health issues. The entire Ultra Music Festival family wishes Avicii a speedy recovery."
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