Miami Mayor, Tomás Regalado is calling for an end to the Ultra Music Festival that takes place in his city. The most recent festival, which started Friday, March 28 at Miami’s Bayside Park, was a scene of chaos.
Security guard, Erica Mack was trampled by a crowd who broke down a fence in order to enter festival grounds. The 28-year old is in critical condition. According to the Miami Herald, Mack suffered a severe brain hemorrhage as a result of the trampling.
Mayor Regalado feels that Ultra organizers did not take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the event would be safe. However Ultra organizers have defended themselves in a statement saying “ [We] 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”
According to Consequences of Sound, city commissioner Marc Sarnoff called attendees “urinating, defecating … throwing up mob of kids on some sort of mind-altering drug”. He agrees with the mayor’s concerns and is working with him to shut down the event.
Other problems plaguing this year’s Ultra Music Festival included the fact that 76 attendees were arrested (28 for felonies) and 118 people were treated by paramedics.
While Sarnoff and Regalado feel that discontinuing the festival would be best, not everyone agrees. According to Billboard staff, Regalado does not have a true understanding of festival culture, but should not use that as an excuse to destroy it. Instead he should work with Ultra organizer to improve conditions. Even so Billboard staff feels that “It’s unlikely Regalado’s campaign will get far; a 2012 report from Ultra’s promoters estimated that the festival and its fans infuse a cool $40 million into the local economy each year, with nearly another $40 million in indirect and induced spending in the weeks surrounding the event”
Mayor Regalado and Sarnoff will submit an official resolution to ban the Ultra Music Festival.