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Ultra Music Festival granted licence in Miami for 2015

By | Published on Monday 28 April 2014

Ultra Festival

The Ultra Music Festival will be able to return to Miami next year, after the Miami City Commission voted four to one to allow it to keep its current site in the city.

As previously reported, Miami mayor Tomas Regalado was highly critical of the festival’s promoters after a security guard was seriously injured at this year’s edition when non-ticketholders pushed over part of the event’s perimeter fence. The mayor initially said that he would block Ultra’s application for a licence for 2015, though backed down after the event’s organisers defended their security provisions.

The festival still faced another hurdle though. The Miami City Commission met last Thursday to decide the future of the event. According to the Miami Herald, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff was particularly keen to see it gone. Showing photos and a video in the meeting of apparent drug taking and nudity amongst some of its attendees, he argued that Ultra was bad for the image of Miami.

His fellow commissioners did not agree though, voting against him to keep the event running. Commenting on one of Sarnoff’s videos, which showed a partially clothed woman seemingly trying to have sex with a tree, one of those commissioners, Keon Hardemann, said: “There are people who have had sex with worse things than trees”. His colleague Francis Suarez added that “it really does put Miami on the map” – Ultra, not tree sex. Though that may now change.

The approval of Ultra Miami 2015 does not come without conditions, however. Organisers will be required to set up mental health and drug advice tents, staffed by medical professionals, and will have to install substantially stronger fencing. It will also be required to hire extra police officers, who will replace the private security guards previously used to patrol the fence.

The security guard who was crushed when this year’s fence was broken down, Ericka Mack, is now recovering at home from her injuries, which include a broken leg and a fractured skull.