Ultra Music Festival, the Miami-based event that saw over 200,000 guests in March to Bayfront Park, may be shutting down the event forever if local authorities have their way. The problems stem first from an incident in 2011 where an Ultra Music Festival security guard stopped two guests. Two off-duty officers who were nearby then beat, choked and tasered concert goer Jesse Campodonico, all over a glow stick his girlfriend, Crystal Iglesias, had brought with her. The officers in question tried to have the man charged with battery, but it was quickly dismissed. In the Miami Herald, he discusses the frightening ordeal.
“There was nothing I could do but try to survive,” Campodonico recalled from that nightmarish evening. “I was trying to cover myself. There was no fighting back. It was just me trying to protect myself from them killing me.”
Ultra’s insurance company paid out a whopping $400,000 to Campodonico for the brutal attack in January, but the Ultra event that followed brought only more turmoil.
During the March Ultra Music Festival of this year, a mob of fans without tickets attempted to break into the ground by forcefully toppling barricades that had been placed up to prevent illegal entry. When 28 year-old Erica Mack, a guard hired by Ultra, approached one such barricade and told the group they had to leave, pandemonium erupted. The throng rioted and thrust down a metal fence on top of Mack, then raced into the event over the top of her. Mack was mangled so badly she was listed in critical condition, and her recovery since then has been agonizingly slow. 22 people were arrested for the heartless assault, 15 of them on felony charges, thought the Miami Homicide Unit is still seeking witnesses to come forth so they can apprehend those that slipped past them.
Miami officials claim that the incident could have been avoided, and that Miami Police had already warned Ultra Music Festival promoters that more fencing was needed, but the request fell on deaf ears. In an interview with the Miami Herald,Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado condemned Ultra management for not doing what was needed to be done, and what he thought was the best course of action from here.
“I think we should not have Ultra next year here. This incident should never have happened.”
Then, as if some unknown entity had pulled all the leaves off Ultra’s 4-leaf clover, just two days into the festival a young man was found dead in his car. 21-year-old concert aficionado Adonis Escoto had been feeling ill, and according to the police report they assumed he had too much alcohol and took him to the car to sleep it off. When they returned at the end of the evening they found his body cold and lifeless.
“We have no idea what happened,” exclaimed his aunt, Rosa Escoto. “He didn’t take drugs. We think maybe someone put something in his drink without him knowing.”
Miami officials are currently awaiting the results of Escoto’s autopsy and say it will be months before the toxicology assessment comes in.
All this has forced the hand of city commissioner Marc Sarnoff to lobby against the Ultra Music Festival in hopes it will find somewhere else to go, even if that means is slips into the history books.
“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,” Sarnoff said shortly after the trampling of Erica Mack. “I think they have overstayed their welcome.”
Now the fate of Ultra Music Festival, just recently touted as America’s premier EDM event, teeters on the balance of Lady Justice, and fans are fearing the worst. Perhaps, while the last two tragedies were a dark stain on the festival’s record, having cut the number of problems in half this year as compared to 2013 may just offer a glimpse of hope for those not wanting to see is die. It all boils down to tomorrow’s vote by the city commissioners that would ban Ultra from ever playing in Bayfront Park again. And if Ultra loses this spot, good luck finding a new one.
— Jesse Zahn (@jessezahn) April 8, 2014
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 2, 2014
Go in depth on the story with Inquisitr’s Selina Leavitt: http://www.inquisitr.com/1196647/ultra-music-festival-leads-to-maiming-and-death/
Or see who Dancing Astronaut’s picked at the top 10 tracks of this year’s music: http://www.dancingastronaut.com/2014/04/dancing-astronauts-top-10-tracks-ultra-music-festival-2014/