After unruly crowds trampled a security guard at this year's Ultra Music Festival, Miami's mayor is moving to deny the EDM concert's organizers the permits to operate next year.
Mayor Tomás Regalado told WFOR, Miami's CBS affiliate that "in the next weeks, we are going to have a discussion on the city commission level to deny the permits for next year for the event here in the city of Miami."
The move comes after a massive crowd ran over 28-year-old Erica Mack, a security guard employed by contracting company Contemporary Services Corp., while trying to enter the festival Friday night. The injuries left Mack in critical but stable condition.
Miami police believe that most of the people in the crowd did not have tickets to the festival and that they were trying to storm past Mack to enter. Police had inspected the area and requested additional fences in advance of the festival, though according to Regalado, the additional fences were not in place the night of the incident.
"What happened this weekend is an event that could have been avoided,” Regalado told CBS on Sunday. “The organizers of Ultra did not follow the police directive to reinforce the fence, even though they knew that this year, and the year before, some kids have tried to over run the fences."
Police made 55 arrests on Friday and Saturday nights at the festival, which drew an estimated 160,000 fans over the weekend. The concert went on as scheduled for the remainder of the weekend, though it appears unlikely to return next year. It is the second year in a row that a mass of unticketed people attempted to break through the festival gates.
"The mayor and I will be proposing a resolution in front of the commission that would deny them the ability to have Ultra in the future,” City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff told CBS. “I’m asking the chief and the chief of fire to meet with me, the mayor, and the Miami-Dade County mayor. Let’s get through this weekend and put this thing to bed, never come back again.”
According to Billboard, Ultra's organizers issued this statement on Sunday:
"The event organizers of Ultra Music Festival share the sentiments of our security partner, CSC, with regard to the condition of Erica Mack, the security guard currently receiving treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The Ultra Family hopes for a swift and full recovery.
"The event organizers prohibit any form of unlawful entry in to the event grounds. Preliminary investigations show that the incident was caused by individuals not in possession of event tickets and who were determined to gain unauthorized entry.
"Every year the event organizers work collaboratively with police and other municipal partners along with the organizers’ independent security partners to ensure the safety of all patrons, crew and working personnel. Because a thorough investigation is underway, event organizers regret that additional comment cannot be provided at this time. The event coordinators are cooperating fully with investigative authorities."
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