December 1, 2023

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Fontainebleau Miami Beach party still on, could bring 800 people

In this March 13, 2015, file photo, rapper Nelly approaches the stage for a concert in Irbil, northern Iraq.

In this March 13, 2015, file photo, rapper Nelly approaches the stage for a concert in Irbil, northern Iraq.


The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is hosting an indoor concert by the rapper Nelly for New Year’s Eve on Thursday night — and the city of Miami Beach can’t do anything to stop it.

City officials denied the hotel’s application for a special event permit to host the publicly advertised concert in the outdoors area of its property at 4441 Collins Ave. So the hotel moved the party indoors, informing the city if would hold the concert in one of its ballrooms.

City Manager Raul Aguila said the hotel initially billed its New Year’s event as a sit-down event but then on Thursday, the hotel disclosed that the it would be a ticketed rap concert.

This wasn’t going to be a small, intimate concert, either, according to the original outside seating chart on the Fontainebleau’s website. The chart showed 134 tables that could seat about 800 people. This event also wasn’t for your everyday concertgoer as tickets ranged from $1,979 to $3,199.

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Fontainebleau Miami Beach New Year’s Eve party seating chart Fontainebleau Miami Beach

“This was presented to us as a sit-down event with ambient music for hotel guests, and it morphed into something else that, frankly, I was uncomfortable issuing a city event permit for,” Aguila said in a statement. “We are only permitting music — whether it’s DJ or other — at ambient levels. I was also concerned about potential surge of crowds when I learned that tickets were being sold online to public.”

Aguila said he “was informed by their counsel that they would be holding their event indoors, inside the ballroom, which is their right.”

A hotel spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Because the event is private, the hotel is not required to follow local COVID laws, Aguila said.

“I sincerely hope they will be enforcing the wearing of masks and maintaining the appropriate Covid precautions and measures to keep their guests safe,” he said.

On Thursday, the state department of health reported 17,192 COVID cases, the highest single-day tally ever recorded in Florida.

Profile Image of Devoun Cetoute

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.

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