Ultra Music Festival promised to up security and safety in 2015 after a number of troubling incidents increased calls to boot the EDM-fest from downtown last year. Organizers brought in former Miami Beach police chief Ray Martinez as head of security and changed policy to no longer admit minors to the festival.
The net result, police say, was 76 arrests over the three-day festival, down slightly from 84 last year. That includes 56 misdemeanor arrests (up slightly from last year) and 20 felony arrests (down by 11 from 2014).
The Miami Police Department provided the following breakdown of arrests in comparison to years past.
The most common offense was operating a business without license, which likely breaks down to people trying to sell things like water or food at or around the festival. Capitalism must be protected, especially at music festivals, apparently. The second most common was possession of MDMA, with 10 arrests made. However, that's significantly down from the 20 people popped for Molly last year. This year saw the least MDMA-related arrests in the past four years of Ultra.
Robbery arrests were up to five from just one in previous years. Misdemeanor theft arrests were also up the three from zero the year before.
The Department also reported zero ejections this year compared to eight in 2014. Trespassing arrests were also slightly down.
Of course, these numbers only include arrests in or around the Bayfront Park grounds, and do not include arrests associated with other Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week-related events. This is different, for example, from the way the Miami Beach Police Department reports the number of arrests during Urban Beach Weekend.
Tragedy, of course, was not limited just to just the grounds of the festival. A Canadian tourist in town for the festivities was the victim of a hit-and-run, while a Scottish tourist was also found dead under mysterious circumstances.
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