The Inevitable Political Posturing
The safety of often-teenaged lunatics at EDM festivals tends to become a political football in any city where said festivals touch down (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, you name it). And when Ultra 2014 was the site of a terrible incident – security guard Erica Mack was trampled by ticketless fans who pushed through a fence on the perimeter of Bayfront Park; she remains in critical but stable condition – Mayor Tomás Regalado popped up to blame the Ultra promoters and vow that the festival would never return to Miami. "It’s time to say goodbye," Regalado proclaimed. Now there are reports by Miami’s NBC affiliate that an Ultra attendee, Adonis Escoto, died after leaving the festival with dizziness. Police are also reported that there were 84 arrests over the three-day fest’s run.
But these same politicians who call for festival bans are the same people who look the other way and benefit hugely from the tourism, money and corporate sponsorship that pours into their cities. Miami, particularly, due to its reputation as a dance-music mecca, has greatly profited from Ultra since the event's inception in 1999. And as long as elected officials have political cover on safety issues, they’re happy to play along. Then, when there’s a freak accident, it’s time to flush the whole operation down the porta-potties and trash dance music culture as an outrageous death trap. Sure.