This weekend is the annual Ultra Music Festival, the massively popular EDM festival in Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park. If you aren’t going, then you probably know people who are. And of those of you who are going, you absolutely know people who are planning on attending the music festival under the influence of cheap alcohol or expensive drugs. It happens. Denying this fact is dangerously ignorant.
Preaching not to use recreational drugs this weekend will probably be just as effective as abstinence-only sex education, but we urge students to be smart and safe with their decisions. Ultra has historically had a problem with safety concerns.
Last year, a UM student died due to a lethal mix of drugs. In a recent statement to students, Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Whitely wrote, “We must take care of one another to ensure we do not lose another member of our community.”
The experience of taking recreational drugs in a hectic environment such as Ultra, particularly for first-time users, can be especially dangerous. Whether or not attendees plan on using any substances, it is responsible to research the effects of commonly used drugs, travel with a group of trustworthy friends and set an established meeting place within the event if anything happens.
Have phone chargers and plenty of hydrating fluids on hand. Do not take water and substances from strangers. Most importantly, pay attention to the people around you and recognize when they are pushing their limits. Being prepared not only for one’s own safety, but also for the sake of taking care of fellow attendees, should be a priority.
The university urges students to reach out to the proper resources, and there is an amnesty policy in the student handbook for medical emergencies, in which students can reach out to Housing and Residential Life, 911 or on-campus police at 8-6666.
Ultra itself is notorious for its lax security, bad traffic management and lack of access to free water. Even with its history of danger and safety issues, Ultra is ill-equipped to tend to the well-being of its large crowds. Its ticketing terms and conditions state that it holds no responsibility for any theft or personal injury at the event.
You’re on your own out there, so rave smart.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.