Miami cancels large Hispanic music festival over coronavirus

MIAMI (AP) — Officials canceled on Friday a large Hispanic street festival in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood citing fears that crowded events could spread coronavirus more widely.

Mayor Francis Suarez said the city of Miami would not grant permits for the Calle Ocho Music Festival, effectively canceling the street event, in an “abundance of caution” as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise. Four people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida, but so far none in Miami.

Authorities announced the decision a day after they decided to cancel another music festival that draws thousands to Miami’s downtown Bayfront Park. Both festivals take place in March, in Florida’s spring break season.

Ultra festival organizers said the city of Miami was following directives from the governor of Florida and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Calle Ocho was scheduled for Sunday to stretch over 20 blocks in the heart of the city’s Cuban community, with live music performances of Latino artists on 10 stages. Organizers say it draws a million people and in the past has featured artists that are now widely known such as Pitbull and Maluma.

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