City officials in Miami are calling for the end of the Ultra Music Festival after 28-year-old security guard Erica Mack was trampled Friday night while trying to stop a group of gate crashers who stormed a fence to get inside. She was listed as critical but stable at Jackson Memorial Hospital with severe brain haemorrhaging and a broken leg.
“What happened this weekend is an event that could have been avoided,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado on Sunday, reports CBS. “The organisers of Ultra did not follow the police directive to re-enforce the fence, even though they knew that this year, and the year before, some kids have tried to over run the fences.”
The incident reportedly occurred in an area where, two hours before Ultra began admitting punters, police had requested additional fencing, though no reinforcements were supplied. Without the “sturdier, unclimbable portable fencing in use in other areas,” reports the Miami Herald, dozens of unticketed revellers stormed in, severely injuring the guard.
“This is not an accident,” said Regalado. “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.”
On Sunday, Ultra’s organisers also issued a statement saying they hope for a “swift and full recovery” for the injured guard. “Every year the event organisers work collaboratively with police and other municipal partners along with the organisers’ independent security partners to ensure the safety of all patrons, crew and working personnel,” continued the statement.
“Because a thorough investigation is underway, event organisers regret that additional comment cannot be provided at this time. The event coordinators are cooperating fully with investigative authorities,” it concluded. City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said the situation could have been predicted and prevented and is also calling for an end to the Music Festival in Miami.
“I’m asking the Chief and the Chief of Fire to meet with me, the Mayor, and the Miami-Dade County Mayor. Let’s get through this weekend and put this thing to bed, never come back again,” he announced. Miami police said they made 33 arrests on the second day of Ultra, up from 22 arrests on day one.
The Ultra Music Festival wraps up Sunday night in Miami.