The Ultra Music Festival has seen it’s share of ups and downs in 2014. The blockbuster EDM lineup was the biggest of the festival’s 14-year history. From Tiesto to David Guetta, Avicii to Carl Cox and Nicky Romero, this year was bound to be explosive.
The music, was fantastic. The publicity, however, was the worst in Ultra Music Festival’s history. Fighting, trampling, and even murder have put a black eye on this year’s event, leading the city of Miami second guessing hosting next year’s festival.
In most cases, music festivals go off without a hitch, with little to no bad news. The story historically, for most festivals, is the music. However, recent events at many music festivals have been less than pleasant.
During last month’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX a man, Rashad Owens, was arrested for allegedly driving his vehicle into a crowd of festival goers, killing four of them and injuring over 20 more.
Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza have all seen some form of news not related to the awesomeness of the performances as well. All this leads to a question in the minds of many: is this the beginning of the end for music festivals?
The crowds are getting larger, the security is thinner than ever, and the opportunity for disaster is certainly present at each festival. So why wouldn’t recent events be the end of music festival format? Because we can’t let a few bad apples ruin a good time!
Local governments, police forces, and private security firms need to learn from recent events and build a proper security plan for each music enthusiast. It would be a shame to punish thousands upon thousands of music fans because the people who are supposed to protect us fail to do so. It is the ultimate responsibility of each concert promoter or host to ensure the safety of their audience.
The events from this year’s Ultra Music Festival, or SXSW should not threaten the end of these truly awesome festivals, even if the governments of their respective cities consider dropping the festivals from their yearly events calendars.
One thing that all music festival attendees can expect is more strict security, a strict limit on alcohol consumption, and possibly a further restriction on what is allowed beyond the gates at the show.
It would be a disservice to the fans of EDM music if the city of Miami, an EDM music hot bed, stopped hosting the Ultra Music Festival