Why Ultra Music Festival needs a new approach

This is something I’ve been hoping happens for years. Half a dozen advocacy & harm reduction groups are coming together to fight on behalf of you, the dancer/attendee. When the festivals throw up their hands and pretend there’s nothing they can do about kids making bad decisions, it seems it’s fallen to us, the attendees to look out for each other and educate one another while enjoying ourselves. I’ve taken the pledge. Have you?



By just about every objective marker this year’s edition of Ultra Music Festival in Miami was a massive success. Over 165,000 people attended the event. The 2014 Ultra Live Stream of the event had 9.7 million views from more than 190 countries. Financially the festival was thought to bring in about 200 million dollars of revenue for the city of Miami.

However, the festival also had a number of significant problems. First, a security guard was left in serious medical condition after being trampled during a gatecrashing incident. Then, one of the attendees, 21-year-old Adonis Espoco, died after being taken out from the festival when thought to be too drunk and left in a car to “sleep it off.” In addition, over 80 people were arrested and 153 people were treated by paramedics during the event.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff both immediately called for Ultra…

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