When Ultra Music Festival announced plans to expand to a second weekend, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff predicted an onslaught of "urinating, defecating ... throwing up" kids on "mind-altering drugs" wreaking havoc. Well, Miami police have released their crime stats from the second week of Ultra and the actual results were something less than a Mad Max dystopia.
MPD arrested 86 people last weekend, bringing the two-week Ultra total to 167 arrests. Many were narcotics related, but gatecrashers were the biggest problem, Sgt. Freddie Cruz tells Riptide.
"By and large, it went smoothly," says Cruz, a department spokesman who also oversaw a bike unit patrolling Ultra.
Although police didn't have an exact breakdown of what festival-goers were arrested for, Cruz says the majority were either drug related or folks trying to sneak into the grounds.
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"We had some minor narcotics sales and usage," he says. "But the biggest problem was just people trying to break in without paying."
Considering that an estimated 300,000-plus fans made it to Ultra over the two weeks of the festival, 167 arrests isn't a gigantic figure.
Either the additional $500,000 that Ultra eventually agreed to chip in to help patrol the two-week festival made a big difference, or Sarnoff's concerns over the festival's criminal impact were overblown all along.