With a security guard in critical conditon following last weekend's event, Miami's mayor plans to block the festival from taking place in the city next year.
Erica Mack is in a critical but stable condition after suffering brain haemorrhaging and a broken leg trying to stop a group of people from gatecrashing the festival on Friday, March 28th, Billboard report. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado now says he's looking to block Ultra's permit in 2015. "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."
Regalado's comments were echoed by some other Miami city officials. "Let's get through this weekend and put this thing to bed, never come back again," City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is quoted as saying. Billboard reports that 55 arrests were made on the first two days of the festival, with another 55 "rescues" performed by local fire services.
The Miami Herald reports that local police inspected the perimeter fence a few hours before Friday's stampede. They called for additional fencing at the spot where Mack was later trampled, but no extra fencing was added.
On Sunday, March 30th, Ultra organisers released an official 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."
Taking place March 29th through 30th, the festival is one of the biggest electronic dance events on the US circuit. Around 160,000 revellers flocked to Miami to watch the likes of Deadmau5, Eric Prydz and David Guetta, while hundreds of thousands more tuned in online.
Photo credit: George Martinez