UM students attending Ultra plan on avoiding Miami Beach during MMW

Miami Beach, where violence has been rampaging the city during spring break Photo credit: Mike McBey, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Multiple fatal shootings in Miami Beach left University of Miami students weary of attending events in the area during Miami Music Week(MMW).

Two separate shootings on March 17 and 19 left two people dead and large unruly crowds, prompting Miami Beach officials to implement a curfew for South Beach starting 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 19. Sunday’s restriction was the third year in a row that city officials implemented a curfew during spring break.

Some students attribute the spring break violence to the out-of-state spring breakers, and are familiar with a relatively safe Miami Beach. In a similar fashion, the music festival attracted many from outside the area.

“While I personally will not be going to any MMW events on the beach, I would advise those that are to be careful.” Kyle Araujo, a sophomore studying Exercise Physiology, said. “Miami Beach is still a somewhat safe place to go to during MMW, but I’m just going to avoid it.”

Music festival safety continued to be a concern for all rave-goers and concert fanatics. Those in attendance were aware of common safety practices such as traveling in groups and hydrating throughout the day.

“I attended Ultra last year and quickly learned that a large percentage of rave-goers are hyper aware of their surroundings and make sure that everyone around them is having a good time.” Chang said. “If someone looks unwell, sick, or in need of help, others in the crowd will not hesitate to do what is needed to help them.”

Even though the festival has a policy restricting the use of any illegal or illicit drugs, repeated cases of overdose and alcohol poisoning created grounds for concern this year.

“While Ultra has grown to become one of Miami’s signature music events, we have experienced grave tragedies as a result of high-risk drinking and substance abuse, including the loss of a University of Miami senior student who died at the 2016 festival.” Dr Patricia Whitely, the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at UM, said in an email sent out to all students on March 21.

Most students that went to Ultra have attended the festival before and are aware of the risks. Students like Chang and Araujo took measures to ensure that themselves and the people around them had an enjoyable and safe experience.

“I make sure that my friends and I are properly hydrated and we make it a point every few hours to eat and sit down to give our legs a break.” Chang said. “A camelpack is essential and the rehydration stations are awesome. Wearing shorts with zippers and keeping valuables to an absolute minimum is a must.”