Ultra Faces Major Problems in 2014
This past weekend, the 16th annual, Ultra Music Festival took place in Miami, Florida. UMF is one of the most well-known EDM festivals in the world, bringing in people from different countries scattering the globe. Last year, there were 330,000 attendees, and the live-stream was viewed by over 10,000,000 people. Though this festival has been considered a massive success, the Mayor of Miami made a statement on Saturday stating, “I think we should not have Ultra next year here”. This statement was made after a chaotic Day 1 at Ultra, that resulted in 56 hospitalizations, 22 arrests, and one security guard who was fatally trampled by fans during a stampede--- the remaining two days of the weekend followed in similar fashion .
28-year-old, Erica Mack of Contemporary Services Corporation, was crushed by a mob of fans who pushed down a metal fence on top of her in an attempt to gain free access. Erica sustained major head hemorrhaging and a broken leg. The mayor claims that Ultra organizers ignored police commands to reinforce the fence, and says that if the event has been better executed this tragedy would have been avoided.
On Sunday, the City of Miami Commissioner released the statement:
“I’m asking 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 (to) come back again.”
Ultra has had negative media coverage throughout the years, with the infamous video of a girl making out with a tree that went viral, along with a multitude of provocative images taken at the festival. This year a picture of a woman peeing on a man who was seemingly blacked out, circulated the internet, along with a UMF live-feed that featured a girl dropping a tab of acid. These incidents have been escalating, but what happened to Erica on Friday night is the worst of them yet. We are all left wondering if there will be an Ultra Music Festival 2015, and if there is what measures will be taken to increase security, safety, and overall fan chaos.
Ultra organizers released a statement regarding the incident, but it does not make up for their lack of security that caused this to occur:
“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 into 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.”
Written By: Allie Regan