MIAMI – As tens of thousands of partiers packed the streets at Bayfront Park for the 23rd annual Ultra Music Festival in Miami, authorities say that a dozen people were hospitalized on night one.
According to Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez, first responders evaluated 24 people and 12 were transported to the hospital.
Sanchez said all the people transported to the hospital were considered to be non-life threatening and are expected to be OK.
Within that crowd were several police officers, some in uniform, others undercover all in search of misbehavior.
According to Miami police, at least seven people were arrested on the opening night of the festival. Some of the charges include disorderly conduct, trespassing, possession of fraudulent credit cards and disorderly intoxication.
With the estimated 165,000 people expected at Ultra per day, officials said, all hands will continue be on deck.
“We’re gonna to have 100 firefighters per day servicing the concert whether it be on foot patrol or bike patrol,” said Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, crews will be positioned throughout the festival venue, using bicycles and other vehicles to help them navigate through large crowds in order to respond to any kind of potential emergency.
Miami Fire Rescue told Local 10 News that the department saw about 16 hospital transports a day last year.
“Considering that it was the first year back from the pandemic, last year was one of our safest years. There weren’t any major incidents, just minor incidents,” said Sanchez.
On Friday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Highway Patrol to send a “surge” of more than 60 state troopers to patrol Miami Beach following a violent weekend that saw two people shot dead on South Beach, authorities said.
Miami Beach police also told Local 10 News they will be assisting and operating DUI checkpoints.
But as Miami prepares to pump up the volume this weekend, the city of Miami Beach is trying to tamp down large crowds. It’s being taken to court over a liquor curfew.
It comes after two deadly shootings on South Beach last weekend, which led city commissioners to consider a curfew for everyone, as requested by the police chief and the city manager.
Police officers arrested Dontavious Polk, 24, of Fort Lauderdale, for first-degree murder, after a fatal shooting shortly before 3:30 a.m., on Sunday on Ocean Drive at 11 Street.
But that measure failed to pass, with those against it arguing that the crowds are typically not as rowdy on the days Ultra is being held across the bay.
Instead, Miami Beach commissioners passed a separate curfew, only applying to liquor stores.
It forces them to shut down starting at 6 p.m. from Thursday through this Sunday.