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Incidents mar ULTRA weekend, may cause fest to seek new location

David Guetta
David Guetta

Rather than 165,000 attendees finding hours of fun under the Miami sun, the 2014 ULTRA Music Festival will be remembered for a major injury, gatecrashers, arrests and a headliner hospitalized and in need of surgery.

And if Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has his way, this could be the last time his city hosts the event.

Speaking to the “Miami Herald he said, “I think we should not have ULTRA next year here.”

On Friday a security guard was critically injured when a crowd without tickets pushed over a fence. The barrier fell on top of her and then she was trampled as the gatecrashers rushed into the event. After being admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital with severe brain hemorrhaging and a broken leg, she was listed on Sunday as critical but stable.

Police reported that following a ride around the perimeter of the fest’s Bayfront Park location in downtown Miami it asked for additional fencing in the area where the guard was injured but promoters did not put it up.

The “Herald” also reported that 84 people were arrested during ULTRA weekend with more 28 felonies.

Last year, the festival spanned two weekends and totalled 167 arrests.

Despite bringing in tens of millions of dollars, city officials already showed its displeasure with ULTRA by only allowing it to run for one weekend in 2014.

The year’s event brought EDM fans from around the world to enjoy international talent that included David Guetta, Diplo, Zedd, Kaskade, The Glitch Mob, Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, Krewella and The Chainsmokers.

Trouble for this year’s ULTRA began even before the first deejay stepped onstage.

Avicii had to cancel his headlining performance due to an urgent to remove a blocked gallbladder. He flew to Miami but was rushed to a hospital shortly after landing.

Deadmau5 stepped in to take his headlining set on Friday.

So far in 2014, Avicii released two smash singles this year – “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother” -- and following his recovery will begin a headlining tour on April 10 in Boston.

In February ULTRA promoters were sued by a stagehand whose legs were shattered by a LED lighting display that fell on him prior to last year’s opening weekend. He is also suing one of 2013’s headlining acts Swedish House Mafia.

There is also another ongoing lawsuit dealing with ownership rights of the festival.

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