A security guard for Ultra Music Festival was hospitalized with severe brain hemorrhaging after being trampled by fans crashing the fences around the Miami event on Friday night. The Miami Herald reports that the 28-year-old private guard is in “extremely critical” condition.
“A mob of people came and started rushing the gate and started pushing it,” Miami Police Lieutenant Ignatius Carroll told the Miami New Times. “She was doing what she was supposed to do, telling them to stop, when they pushed it down and it fell on top of her. . . They just trampled her.”
Carroll noted that the fans did not have tickets to the event and were trying to get in without paying. “There must have been a whole lot of people. We found her on the ground, screaming in pain.”
Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado condemned the festival’s promoters, saying they “acted irresponsibly” in their failure to secure the perimeter of the fence that marked off the event. Two hours before the gates opened to the public on Friday afternoon, police had noted that additional fencing was needed in the spot where the guard ended up trampled, but none was added.
“I think we should not have Ultra next year here,” Regalado said. “This incident should never have happened.”
The Miami police homicide unit is seeking witnesses to the incident. Police also reported that 22 people were arrested on Friday night, 15 of them on felony charges, six on misdemeanors and one for a traffic violation.
At a 2012 EDM Halloween show in Madrid, three girls were killed and two left in critical condition when they were crushed by the crowd. Concerns over unruly gate-crashing crowds also became an issue at SXSW earlier in March when Tyler, the Creator was arrested for allegedly exhorting fans to push through the gates at one of his performances.
Ultra Music Festival’s organizers are expecting more than 165,000 people at the event, which featured Friday sets by Kaskade, Eric Prydz, Waka Flocka Flame and Tiësto, among others.