By all accounts, Sunset Music Festival this past weekend was a success. The sold out festival raged over Saturday and Sunday, but unfortunately not everyone was able to make it back home.
Two individuals, Katie Bermudez, 21, of Kissimmee and Alex Haynes, 22, of Melbourne, died over the weekend; a Hillsborough County Medical Examiner is ruling an overdose as the likely cause of death.
According to local news station WFLA and various other agencies, 57 festival-goers were transported to the hospital over the weekend, a number that a spokesperson for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa calls “frightening.” In comparison, police made 33 arrests at the festival – 25 were classified as felonies and 8 were misdemeanors. Police also cited 16 people for possession of marijuana.
UPDATE: The festival sent this statement to WFLA:
“The health, safety and welfare of our fans and community is Sunset Music Festival’s first priority and we take every measure to create a safe environment at our events. Any loss of life is a tragedy and we extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those affected. Due to the ongoing investigation by the medical examiner’s office, Sunset will not issue additional comments at this time.”
A spokesperson for the Tampa Sports Authority, which manages Raymond James Stadium, released the following statement:
“We have received this information as you have through the Tampa Police Department’s release. We extend our condolences to these families for their loss. We will continue to work with the promoters of the Sunset Music Festival and local life safety agencies to provide the safest environment possible for their attendees.”