In the wake of security guard Erica Mack being trampled during the very first day of Ultra 2014 by an out-of-control gatecrashing mob, the festival has been called out for negligence by Miami politicians, including Mayor Tomás Regalado and City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.
Now, in its latest response to this tragedy and the subsequent backlash, the festival has issued a "Comprehensive Security Review."
Photo by George Martinez
The review begins by stating that Ultra "condemns [the] un-ticketed gate crashers who breached security causing injury to one of our own."
But organziers also carefully shirk responsibility for the trampling incident by attempting to place the blame squarely on the perpetrators.
"Despite additional efforts this year to continue providing a safe and enjoyable event for our patrons and staff, including a larger security and police presence," they write, "the criminal acts of the gate crashers resulted in critically injuring one of our security guards, Erica Mack."
They also add: "Each year ULTRA works closely with the Miami Police and Fire Departments, the Bayfront Park Management Trust and the Miami Risk Management Department to constantly improve the safety and security of the event."
And according to the organizers, there were "a number of additional security and safety measures" implemented before this year's edition. The bullet points of Ultra 2014's supposedly increased security plan are as follows:
-The deployment of 257 police officers per day, 49 more per day than a year ago;
-The deployment of 28 additional police officers per day on the perimeter and inside the event;
-The deployment of 18 undercover detail officers, which included Homeland Security and DEA officers;
-The deployment of 12 additional bike details per day; and
-The deployment of "G8" (8 foot, high-level security) fencing and double fencing surrounding the entire venue.
Further defending themselves, Ultra organizers claim: "Each year arrests and injuries reported at the event have been considerably lower than other similarly sized outdoor events." But they also admit that "any incident of this nature is one too many and must be addressed."
And their plan: "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.
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"This review will include an assessment with the Miami Police Department of how security can be enhanced immediately outside our gates to prevent a criminal incident of this nature from happening again."
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