The Ultra Music Festival wrapped up its 16th annual flagship event in Miami on Sunday night, minus one security guard.
Two hours before the event was set to kick off, Miami PD inspected the Bayfront Park venue. They noticed a weak spot in the perimeter, and called for additional fencing. According to City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Ultra representatives stated that the gap in the perimeter was a necessary access point for vendors.
On Friday night somewhere between performances by Eric Prydz, Crizly, and Tiesto, Erica Mack, a 28 year old employee with the Contemporary Services Corporation, was trampled nearly to death. A mob of people without tickets to the festival noticed that weak spot in the fence, and stormed it. It is unclear whether Erica was attempting to slow the horde down, or merely get out of the way. Either way, the gate-crashers knocked it over with the young woman still underneath. Erica suffered severe brain hemorrhaging and had one leg crushed in the melee.
On Saturday, Day 2 of the Ultra Music Festival, heavy rain and electrical storms shut down four of the seven stages. The originally scheduled main act, Avicii, complained of severe stomach pains and had to pull out, so Deadmau5 stepped in at the last minute. One 21 year old male partygoer collapsed for unknown reasons, and died several hours later. The cause of death is still under investigation.
On Sunday, Day 3 of the Festival, Mack was finally breathing on her own again, without the use of a machine, but her condition was still listed as critical.
The 3 day EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Festival celebrated its 16th year in Miami, but after one death, 84 arrests, 153 revelers who needed emergency medical treatment, and Erica Mack’s horrific and possibly permanently debilitating injuries, it might not see its 17th, or at least not in the Magic City.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado’s patience with the Ultra Music Festival has run out. “It’s time to say goodbye. We are bringing a resolution to the City Commission. If approved, the city will deny the permits for next year. We’d rather take quality of life instead of money.”
Commissioner Sarnoff is in agreement with the mayor. From his statement to The Miami Herald:
“The mayor and I will be proposing a resolution in front of the commission that would deny them the ability to have Ultra in the future. I think they have overstayed their welcome.”
However, event organizers are staying optimistic. The Ultra Music Festival brings Miami an estimated 80 million dollars in additional revenue each year, and not everybody is on board with kicking that much money to the proverbial curb. As for Erica Mack’s future, nobody is quite sure if or when she will make a full recovery. Ultra’s organizers finally released the following statement regarding their fallen employee:
“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.”