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Ultra Festival Reviewing Policies Following Security Guard Trampling

Organizers working with police and fire departments to find ways of increasing safety for future festivals

Atmosphere at the Ultra Music Festival
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
April 2, 2014 4:50 PM ET

The organizers of the Miami-based EDM festival Ultra will carry out a comprehensive review of its security measures, following the trampling incident that put one of its security guards in the hospital this past weekend.

Erica Mack, a 28-year-old private guard, suffered severe brain hemorrhaging this past weekend when a mob of fans without tickets pushed a gate over onto her and charged over her toward the festival grounds. The organizers say they made additional efforts for this year's festival – its 16th overall – to make for a "safe and enjoyable event for our patrons and staff" and blame Mack's injury on the "criminal acts" of the gatecrashers. Mack is receiving treatment, and a report by a local NBC station said Monday that her status was "slowly improving."

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"Each year, arrests and injuries reported at the event have been considerably lower than other similarly sized outdoor events," the statement reads. "However, any incident of this nature is one too many and must be addressed. Consistent with our commitment to improve every year, Ultra is conducting a top-to-bottom review of security procedures and measures to assess where we can add even more security for the event next year." The review will include an assessment with the Miami Police Department, which will offer suggestions as to how the festival can enhance security.

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This year, the festival said it had already worked with area police and fire departments and other organizations to increase safety at the event. Nearly 50 more police officers were deployed per day over last year and the statement said that there were more officers, both uniformed and undercover, working within and around the perimeter of the festival. Homeland Security and DEA officers were also present. Ultra organizers added that they had also erected a "G8" – an eight-foot, high-level security fence surrounding the venue.

Ultra released another statement on Monday expressing remorse for the incident and again blamed the gatecrashers for it happening. As for Mack, its organizers said, "The Ultra Family hopes for a swift and full recovery."

Nevertheless, the incident has not jived with Miami mayor Tomás Regalado. "I think we should not have Ultra next year here," he told the Miami Herald earlier this week. "This incident should never have happened."

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