This years Sunset Music Festival saw some drastic increases in arrests and hospitalizations leaving authorities shocked and disappointed.
The festival took place in Tampa, Florida this past weekend at the famous Raymond James Stadium where the Buccaneers call home. Numbers indicated that over 50,000 people attended the two-day event and being a National Holliday, it’s no wonder people decided to go a little crazy.
On Saturday alone, authorities stated that 32 attendees were transported to nearby hospitals and another 65 were treated on site, apparently Sundays numbers have yet to be released. Although these numbers seem very high, medical staff claim that only a few patients were treated for drug related problems. The weather seemed to play a large role in these hospitalizations due to upwards of 90 degrees all weekend.
To top the weekend off, Tampa Police stated there were around 30 felony arrests, 16 misdemeanor arrests and 5 marijuana citations throughout the weekend festival. It’s very likely the numbers jumped from last year due to the new ‘zero-tolerance’ drugs policy enforced this year. One positive from the weekend was apparently there were no major criminal incidents that took place over the weekend.
A top promoter of SMF had this to say about the festival:
“Protecting the health, safety and welfare of our fans and our community is Sunset MusicFestival’s (SMF) top priority,” said SMF promoter John Santoro.
“SMF has worked successfully in collaboration with Tampa Sports Authority (TSA), Tampa Police Department (TPD) and Tampa Fire Rescue (TFR), to create and maintain a safe environment at this year’s festival.
Our increased security measures kept fans safe; additional medical personnel and hydration strategies kept fans healthy. While any medical incidents are unfortunate, we are pleased that all medical incidents at this year’s Festival were non-life- threatening and consistent with medical incidents typical to large events.
SMF pays for all medical and safety resources, at and beyond the levels prescribed to us by TPD, TFR and TSA, in order to meet anticipated Festival demands and not overtax city resources” he added.