Tampa city officials are speaking out after people attending a popular Bay area music festival ended up overdosing, arrested, and even dead.
Over 30,000 people attended the Sunset Music Fest at Raymond James Stadium this past weekend. Now some are calling for this year's event to be the last.
“Clearly that’s an event that we as a community need to reconsider,” says Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Buckhorn says if it were up to him, the Sunset Music festival would be banned.
“These type of festivals attract these type of drugs use and these types of drugs. You combine that with the heat in the stadium, it really made a perfect storm of bad things to happen. These guys [Tampa Fire Rescue] was running wheels off trucks trying to get people to St. Joe's,” says Mayor Buckhorn.
Tampa’s fire chief says when you compare the amount of calls for the festival to an event like Gasparilla, Gasparilla had around 300,000 people attend and 34 calls. Sunset Music Festival had 30,000 people and 85 calls and 57 transports.
“It really, really exhausted are resources,” says Tampa Fire Chief Tom Forward.
The Tampa Sports Authority is in charge of events at Raymond James. The President of the Authority released this statement saying:
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragedy during this difficult time. Presently, we are working with the event promoter and local officials to obtain more information about these incidents at the Sunset Music Festival. After this information has been obtained and discussed with our partners at the county and the city, we will present the findings to the Tampa Sports Authority Board for review. After that review, we will be able to make a more informed decision as to the Festival’s future at our facility.”
“The Sports Authority needs to look at whether or not that's an appropriate event for this community to host,” says Mayor Buckhorn.
And if it does come back, Mayor Buckhorn says it’s up to the promoter to make sure these incidents don’t happen again.