Miami Officials Call For an End To Ultra Music Festival
By Shannon Carlin
After a scary incident during the first day of this year’s Ultra Music Festival in Miami, which left a female security guard in stable, but critical condition, the city’s mayor and other local officials are calling for an end to the EDM festival.
According to CBS Miami, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado along with City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff are taking action to keep Ultra out of their jurisdiction.
“The mayor and I will be proposing a resolution in front of the commission that would deny them the ability to have Ultra in the future,” said Sarnoff. “I think they have overstayed their welcome.”
The two officials say it’s not only the trampling incident, which was reportedly caused that has them looking to end the festival, but the recent rise in arrests (the Miami police say they arrested 22 people on Friday and 33 people the following day), drug overdoses and fence hopping.
The Mayor also explained that Friday night’s incident, which left a 28-year-old security guard in the hospital with a broken leg and brain hemorrhaging, could have been avoided if the festival organizers installed an additional fence like they were told to do earlier in the day.
“What happened this weekend is an event that could have been avoided,” Mayor Regalado said. “The organizers of Ultra did not follow the police directive to reinforce the fence, even though they knew that this year, and the year before, some kids have tried to over run the fences.In the next weeks we are going to have a discussion on the city commission level to deny the permits for next year for the event here in the city of Miami.”
The festivals organizers though released a statement Sunday night –the final night of the festival– explaining that the incident was not caused by ticket holders and that there is an investigation underway.
But, Sarnoff believes this has been a recurring problem with the festival. A problem he’s become tired of dealing with.
“There was a sort of stampede of people who were trying to get in, very much like what happened last year, but it was about 500 people last year,” Sarnoff explained. “They tried to get into the front gate last year and we had enough security from the City of Miami Police Department. They put their bikes across their chest and they pushed back and they were able to hold the people back. I’m asking the Chief and the Chief of Fire to meet with me, the Mayor, and the Miami-Dade County Mayor. Let’s get through this weekend and put this thing to bed, never come back again.”
Read the complete statement released by the organizers of Ultra below.
The event organizers of Ultra Music Festival share the sentiments of our security partner, CSC, with regard to the condition of Erica Mack, the security guard currently receiving treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The Ultra Family hopes for a swift and full recovery.
The event organizers prohibit any form of unlawful entry in to the event grounds. Preliminary investigations show that the incident was caused by individuals not in possession of event tickets and who were determined to gain unauthorized entry.
Every year the event organizers work collaboratively with police and other municipal partners along with the organizers’ independent security partners to ensure the safety of all patrons, crew and working personnel. Because a thorough investigation is underway, event organizers regret that additional comment cannot be provided at this time. The event coordinators are cooperating fully with investigative authorities.