More than 50,000 people traveled to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa this past weekend for the annual Sunset Music Festival, but definitely took the occasion as an excuse for some unsafe or ill-advised behavior.
Official numbers after the festival state that 32 attendees were transported to hospitals on Saturday alone. Temperatures at the festival reached the 90s over Memorial Day Weekend; however, the festival provided free water stations, as well as canopies and cooling areas. An additional 65 attendees were treated on-site on Saturday, for non-life threatening reasons, such as dehydration and intoxication. Preliminary information indicates that very few transports were suspected to be drug related.
Authorities are still waiting to receive the final numbers of those hospitalized on Sunday.
According to Tampa Police Department Public Information Officer Stephen Hegarty, there were also 30 felony arrests and 16 misdemeanor arrests at the festival, 13 more total than last year. Arrests were up this year compared to last as SMF enforced a zero-tolerance policy for drugs on the premises.
There were also 47 ejections from the festival and five citations for possession of marijuana.
Hegarty told ABC News there were “no major criminal incidents on either day of 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.”
via ABC News