Opinion

Ban Ultra Music Festival for safety

Ultra Music Festival (UMF) has been coming to Miami for the past 16 years, attracting thousands of people from all over the world. This year, a security guard was trampled after a group of people stormed the fence.

As a result, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and city commissioner Marc Sarnoff have called for an end to Ultra. The vote was scheduled to take place earlier this month but was delayed.

On Thursday, Ultra’s fate will be decided, and I hope the city makes the right choice: To ban Ultra.

Ultra, its patrons and local businesses have defended the music festival, lauding its numerous accomplishments. In 2013, Ultra brought in $223 million and created 1,800 jobs.

However, UMF is dangerous. People go to Ultra to have fun, but for many, this involves drinking or abusing drugs. In a crowd of several thousand people, walking around impaired is dangerous and can lead to injury or death.

A 21-year-old was found dead in his car after Ultra, and 118 rescues were performed by the paramedics. Also, 78 people were arrested this year, 28 of them for felonies.

The main consideration for keeping Ultra in Miami is the revenue that it generates for the city. However, by allowing Ultra to stay another year, city officials would be choosing money over public safety.

UMF organizers were negligent – they were told to reinforce the fence where the guard was trampled, and they did not.

They have recently hired Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez to be their security director. This is a good idea, but it’s too little too late.

You don’t reward someone’s negligence by giving them another shot; you shut them down.

Ultra has had a good run, but it’s time for it to go.

 

Taylor Duckett is a junior majoring in economics.

 
April 20, 2014

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Taylor Duckett


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