Miami Mayor, City Officials Look to End Ultra Music Festival
Two days after security guard Erica Mack was trampled at Ultra Music Festival on Friday, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and city officials are looking to call an end to the festival.
The 28-year-old Contemporary Services Corp. guard was in "critical, yet stable" condition after being trampled while trying to stop a mob of gate-crashers from storming inside. Mack suffers from severe brain hemorrhaging and a broken leg.
"She was not strong enough to deal with a mob of people that actually pushed this fence down, pushing her backwards and the fence landing on top of her. Now these people started trampling on top of her just to get into the event, as a result she sustained major head trauma as well as a broken leg," Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll told Miami's CBS4 on Sunday.
"What happened this weekend is an event that could have been avoided," Regalado said. "The organizers of Ultra did not follow the police directive to re-enforce the fence, even though they knew that this year, and the year before, some kids have tried to overrun the fences."
Regalado continued, saying, "This is not an accident. This is something that could have been avoided. So 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."
Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff agrees with the mayor that the unfortunate incident could have been prevented and that Ultra should not take place in Miami after this year.
"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. 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."
CBS4 reports that Miami police made 33 arrests on the second day of Ultra, compared to 11 on day one. They also rescued 55 people on Saturday. "We've had some people sustain minor injuries as a result of dancing and then we’ve had some people that were found unconscious or used some illegal substances that caused them to overdose," Lt. Carroll said.
On Sunday, the last day of Ultra, the festival’s organizers issued a statement:
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.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.