Report: Ultra Music Festival co-founder Alex Omes dead at age 43

Alex Omes, the co-founder of Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and a longtime fixture in the city’s nightlife scene, has reportedly died at the age of 43. Fans and friends have been posting messages to Omes’ Facebook wall; his last post came early yesterday morning, when he wrote “The Secret of Freedom is Courage.

No cause of death has been reported, though Omes had been posting several religious messages to social media over the past few weeks.

Omes created Ultra Music Festival with then-partner Russell Faibisch in 1999. Writes the Miami New Times today:

“The festival would go on to become one of the largest dance music events in North America. And it even eventually eclipsed Winter Music Conference, which had been the reason so many DJs and dance acts came to Miami in March in the first place.

In 2010, Omes found himself pushed out of Ultra after conflict arose over the festival’s decision to break off from WMC. Two years later, he filed a lawsuit to regain control, continuing to claim co-ownership of Ultra.

However, Omes wasted no time in getting back on his feet. In 2011 and 2012, he, along with partner Emi Guerra, staged several successful events around the city with Swedish House Mafia. In 2012, he and Guerra also announced a new music festival, UR1, slated to star Kanye West and Lou Reed. But ultimately, it would be canceled due to rumored slow ticket sales.

Before creating Ultra, Omes was publisher of dance culture magazine D’VOX, and previously served as a bouncer in Miami nightclubs. This year’s Ultra goes down March 27 to 29, and performers include AVICII, David Guetta, Tiesto, and dozens of others.