Hey Austin: Want to Host Ultra Music Festival?

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On Sunday, a security guard was trampled by fans trying to rush the entrance at Ultra Music Festival.  Within hours, Miami mayor Thomas Regalado and other city officials started pressuring Ultra to leave (the guard is in critical condition, with serious brain hemorrhaging and other injuries).

“They should move on and get another venue,” Regalado flatly told local Miami news outlet CBS4.

The reaction by Miami officials stands in stark contrast to that of SXSW, where 4 people have now been confirmed dead and 21 injured after a police chase barreled into a heavily-populated, closed off street in March.  SXSW continued the festival the next morning without any interruption.

“We understand that this brings a lot of name recognition and money to the City of Miami, but the most important thing is quality of life,” Regalado continued.

Miami Police Commissioner Marc Sarnoff took things a step further, suggesting that injuries and deaths are almost inevitable once a festival reaches a certain size.  “There’s no way of policing that many people because we know about stampedes: they’ve happened in the past, and luckily our police officers were able to handle it.”

“Very simply I think it needs to be ended.”

18 Responses

  1. Willis

    There are hundreds of festival-style events and rarely are there incidents. This was a case of the promoter not having things done correctly, and a few fans getting unruly.

    • Vail, CO

      Any event of this size will have:

      lots of drugs

      SO, either the city is okay with that or they’re not but don’t pretend that it’s otherwise.

      • Willis

        So deaths should be expected at events based upon their size? Sounds like you went to that event in Miami and used “lots of drugs.”

    • Anonymous

      You are talking about 400,000+ kids in a small area, most of which are high on various drugs. Stuff is bound to happen.

  2. NoSacredCow

    “the most important thing is the quality of life” for those citizens facing end of life that is. Just look at Regalado you know he isn’t bumping to trance…

    Move the festival back to the beach on South Beach, it was much better there anyway. You’d dance build up a sweat jump in the water, cool off and repeat the cycle.

  3. Morris

    “Any event of this size will have:
    lots of drugs

    So, all we have to do is get rid of festivals and Miami won’t have any of these things anymore? Sounds great!

    (What? EVERY city has injuries, felonies, lots of drugs, violence, and death? Hmmm…maybe the mayor of Miami and his ridiculous policy commissioner should consider asking the residents of Miami to “move on.”)

  4. pfffft

    So, some one shot up a school, CLOSE DOWN ALL SCHOOLS FOREVER.

  5. Paul Resnikoff

    Just curious. Has anyone heard of any changes being made at SXSW as a result of the drunk driving tragedy? Or, would that introduce all sorts of legal liabilities?

    • DUDE

      Unless Im very much mistaken the dude at SXSW blew a sobriety checkpoint and engaged police in a high-speed chase, then blew a barricade on the street where he had the accident — so its not like security was lax. Did you actually have something SXSW could do to stop such a determined customer in mind, or did you just wanna grind your axe some more?

      • GGG

        A guy somewhere choked and died today. Ban food! Or, ban windpipes! Force humans to evolve to eat like snakes!

  6. GGG

    If my iPhone ever gets stolen while I’m reading DMN, I’ll be sure to rally around the closure of this site. It will totally be your fault, Paul, since you didn’t have anti-theft devices in place.

  7. Anonymous

    The crowds literally raped Miami. Picked it from the bone. It was disgusting.

    • GGG

      Are you insinuating Ultra is more out of towners than locals, and that the Miami EDM culture is niche or something the other 364 days of the year?

  8. Anonymous

    The security guard actually got injured on Friday night. Anyway, the mayor of Miami is using this as a way to attack Ultra because of the way it disrupts downtown Miami and the image it puts on the city, they’ve wanted it gone for years. At the end of the day Miami officials are mostly just using the incident for self-serving purposes, in my opinion anyway. I wouldn’t commend them over anyone at SXSW.

  9. Anonymous

    I think the security guard was injured Friday night, not Sunday. And, the police had just surveyed the site and pointed out that the particular section where it happened was not secure but nothing was ever done.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t use this as a way to commend Miami officials or knock SXSW. It’s apples and oranges. City officials in Miami have long wanted Ultra gone because of the way it disrupts the downtown area and the image it has on the city. Their comments are mostly for self-serving purposes (imo anyway). They were saying the same thing the week before it began.

  10. Chris

    That Ultra Music Festival always was a load of shite anyway.

  11. Anonymous

    JazzFest is mellow and huge. It must be the culture.