The organizers for the Ultra Music Festival have announced that Miami festival will no longer be an all-ages event. In a news release posted on the festival's website, organizers said that the festival, slated for March 27, 28 and 29 2015, will only allow those aged 18 years and older to attend. The festival had previously been open to all ages since it launched in 1999. Other festivals are reportedly considering similar restrictions.
“While we sincerely value the incredible ongoing support from our younger fans, we ultimately believe that Ultra Music Festival is a premium event geared towards adults. This decision has been made to reinforce and promote the safety of all Ultra Music Festival fans and to ensure the overall enjoyment of all future attendees. We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from our younger fan base to date, and we encourage them to attend the festival once they reach the appropriate age. Until then, our free YouTube stream, ‘ULTRA LIVE’ is available worldwide for everyone, all ages to enjoy and to share in the Ultra experience.”
The changes for the festival come in the wake of last year's Ultra, which was plagued by a number of incidents, including the trampling of a 21-year-old security guard was fat after a crowd toppled a chain link fence, leaving the guard with a fractured skull and a broken leg. Another man was found unresponsive in a car after attending the event. The man subsequently died, with the county medical examiner ruling the death an overdose.
Earlier this year Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado launched an investigation of the festival and unsuccessfully pushed the city council to deny permits for the festival in 2015. However, festival organizers worked to allay concerns with improved safety measures, including the hiring of Ray Martinez, the recently retired Miami Beach Police Chief as their security director.
Following the announced changes, Mayor Regaldo reiterated his objection to the festival taking place in downtown Miami, but according to the Miami Herald, praised organizers for the new age limit.
“I think that it’s the best decision they could have ever made,” Regaldo told the Herald. “That was one of the main issues, the concern for minors. And I think it would be a much better festival now.” - via Celebrity Access