Update: Ultra to conduct security review, City of Miami continues to push for ban
The brewing debate between the city of Miami and Ultra Music Festival continues to unfold as representatives of the festival have finally responded to demands from Mayor Regalado to kick the three-day dance music festival out of the city completely. As the city representatives continue to fire angry demands, the festival organizers have bowed out in silence, awaiting results from a “comprehensive review of all security procedures” that was announced through an official statement that was published on Wednesday.
Details regarding the Ultra’s 2014 security plans reveal that over 250 police officers were hired, of which 111 were stationed outside of the event. In the report, Miami business executive Rodney Barreto explained that 318 additional private guards provided security. However, the opposing side continues to stress the faults found in the seemingly comprehensive security plan: Firstly, in regards to the Erica Mack incident, the Miami police force warned festival organizers of the weak spot where Mack was later patrolling and subsequently trampled, and instructed the organizers to provide proper security reinforcement, which was never delivered. Secondly, in a review done of the plans Ultra had submitted to the city, the outline demonstrates plans for the area where the incident occurred to be supplied with “so-called G8 fencing — used to keep protesters out of G8 economic summits — a sturdier, taller fence that was used near the front of the venue,” which were instead replaced by regular double chain-link fences.
Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff continues to push against Ultra’s anticipated 2015 return to the coveted downtown venue, despite acknowledging that a massive amount of tourism income would be lost if the event was evacuated from the area. “I’ve looked at YouTube and Twitter,” he explained. “The injuries that have been sustained, the stampede, no amount of money cures that.” Sarnoff then continued to stress, “Nothing is going to change until [Ultra organizers] acknowledge they need to find a new venue outside the urban core.”
Ultra organizers plan to remain silent as they await results of the review while the city moves ahead with plans to discuss the festival’s future at an April 10th commission meeting. However, Barreto supplied a quick retort that justifies Ultra’s continued hope for the festival’s already announced future: “Some people have seemed to rush to judgment. We should have all the facts before we want to throw Ultra out of town.”
Via: Miami Herald