Ultra 2014: Brother of Dead Concertgoer Calls Music Festival "a Death Trap"

Categories: Crime

Ultra_dark_stage_george_martinez.jpg
Photo by George Martinez
The decision over Ultra Music Festival's fate was delayed yesterday, but the debate rages on. Even as city commissioners consider banning Ultra, thousands of people per day are signing a petition to keep UMF in downtown Miami. Ultra opponents accuse the event of descending into drugs and violence. Its defenders say that it's no more dangerous than other concerts and that sending it elsewhere would be idiotic.

Lost in the vitriol are the voices of those who have the most to say: the family members of the two young men who died while attending Ultra. They are angry but resigned about the music festival.

"Ultra will be here next year," said Dionis Escoto, older brother of Adonis Escoto, who died while attending Ultra 2014. "Sadly, people will forget about my brother and those who continue to pass [away] and have trouble at this death trap!"

See also: Young Ultra Attendee Dies After Saturday's Show

An Ultra spokesman did not immediately return requests for comment. However, organizers have argued the event is far safer than concerts of comparable size elsewhere.

"Each year, arrests and injuries reported at the event have been considerably lower than other similarly sized outdoor events. However, any incident of this nature is one too many and must be addressed," Ultra said in a statement regarding the trampling of security guard Erica Mack.

The festival has promised "a top-to-bottom review of security procedures and measures to assess where we can add even more security for the event next year" but has not directly addressed the issue of drug use.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff has complained about drug use at Ultra and even compiled a "highlight reel" of Ultra arrests and overdoses. But Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa recently admitted there was little cops could do about the problem.

"It's just human responsibility whether or not you are going to stop short of killing yourself or you want to continue down the path and go ahead and kill yourself," Orosa said. "We can control the drugs coming into Ultra as best as we can, but whatever happens outside at your home, we really can't control that."

Dionis said he didn't want to talk in detail about his brother's death during the early hours of March 30. Adonis, 21, was found dead inside a car after experiencing sudden sickness while at Ultra. His family believes someone slipped drugs into his drink.

Police, autopsy, and toxicology reports have yet to be released in the case. But Dionis Escoto made his and his family's feelings about Ultra more than clear in messages to New Times.

"I really don't want to talk about his death," he wrote. "I just want Ultra to stop killing our youth! Money rules everything. I see that now!

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55 comments
grow_up
grow_up

Use your brain, folks.  Suing Ultra because a family member got sick while there and died is like suing the Everglades National Park because your family member entered the park at his own risk, harassed an alligator and the alligator attacked him. People know Ultra has plenty of drugs and the Everglades has plenty of gators, and that is why most people who have common sense will stay away from dangerous situations. Does that mean you should never leave your house because every minute that you do you're exposing yourself to risks? No, it just means you should be smart about the risks, stay safe, and not tempt danger.

As my example above illustrates, the venue has nothing to do with your death, it's your own choice to engage in risky behavior that is to blame. Whenever you go somewhere, be it the ocean, a music concert, ice skating on a frozen river, or going to a forest, you're entering and participating in activities at your own risk.  That is why you would not swim in the deep in a beach with rip currents or shark sightings, nor would you ice skate on a river that is cracking, or pop a wheelie on a motorcycle while doing 200 mph.

Assuming all the people dying at Ultra have been drugged against their own volition, it should be common sense for them to stop taking food or drinks from strangers and instead buying sealed water or beer bottles that cannot possibly be tampered with or spiked.  It's a no-brainer, or should be a no-brainer.

Krystal0081
Krystal0081

Ultra has no re-entry. How did his friends leave the festival to take him to the car to sober up and then go back to the festival? Something is not adding up. I'm sure they were partying before they even got to the festival and they decided to leave him in the car. There's definitely more to this story. I feel bad for this guy losing his life but it is not the festival's fault for what one's personal choices (taking drugs)

Seth Ross
Seth Ross

Ultra is nothing more then a bunch of little girls and boys (sluts) all drugged out. Running all over the place. Get it the hell out of here.

Megan Drew
Megan Drew

his family believes someone slipped something into his drink? thats serious denial.

Megan Drew
Megan Drew

Also asking for compensation is outlandish because the festival doesn't provide drugs, and nobody made him take them. What do they want compensation for? Not enough medical attention? You take that risk when you know you're going to be in a crowd of 50,000 people. Which was, again, a decision he made.

Eric Michael Arill
Eric Michael Arill

And again, bumping up the age restrictions to 21+ would reduce a large amount of idiots that ruin the experience for the rest of us

Eric Michael Arill
Eric Michael Arill

Its such a shame that the family wants money to "compensate" for the death of a loved one. Kind of shits on the whole situation. If you are think you are responsible and mature enough to mess around with hardcore drugs then you have to be responsible and mature enough to deal with the consequences. No matter how severe, be it an arrest or death.

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

You pay's the money; You take your chances. Never experienced the "lock down" of youth having some wild fun, to shut down a city. Not like Van halen at the Hollywood sport......its the control & supervision fucking everyone & every thing up. FFS

monagaat
monagaat

This is STUPID! Its NOT ultra that's "killing your youth". It's your youth making dumb-ass decisions while there! You're grieving,yes, but don't blame the organization for your 'youth's' bad decisions. 

James Kelley
James Kelley

It is the same every year not just this year. In previous years they were lucky and had no "reported" tragedies. jk

305bailbondsman
305bailbondsman

This "story" ends by acknowledging that we don't yet have police, autopsy or toxicology reports and yet quotes this poor guy's absurd claims that Ultra killed his brother? I think I understand his pain, but we don't even have a cause of death here, right? And he was pronounced dead in Aventura hospital after being left by his friends in a car?


This piece seems tragically premature and likely to cause the family even more pain if the findings are that he died in a car of a suicide, drug overdose, or even natural causes.  

Analise Calleiro
Analise Calleiro

Demands answers from ultra!? Ultra didn't kill him. He killed himself. Demand answers from his friends that left him in the car while they continued partying.

Nomejodas Pleez
Nomejodas Pleez

ultra is a festival of music. the attendees are adults or kids of adults that are making their own choices. CASO CERRADO.

Julio Lopez
Julio Lopez

Ultra is pretty well known for its drug use. I mean, come on...

Tamz SmallFry
Tamz SmallFry

What answers? Ask your dead brother what he was on. People always want to point the finger & think they're family members are innocent. foh bad decisions lead to bad results. He died honor his memory move on. The end.

Kenn Mathews
Kenn Mathews

Miami's Molly, is not Molly. New Times has done several articles about the fact. These out of towners come in take it, and die. That's not Ultra's fault.

Juan Fernandez
Juan Fernandez

You are the company you keep man:/ sucks but unfortunately it happens a lot at events like this.

Reuben DeOro
Reuben DeOro

How many people fell to their deaths at Baseball games last year? Until people learn to have fun without being intoxicated at events, we will continue to get sad stories like this.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

SMH, it's always the music ? Not the alcohol or drugs ? Take responsibility & accountability for once in your lives ? I listen and enjoy edm, I don't drink or do drugs. So I can tell you that without a doubt, it's not ultra, it's not the music. We get more deaths because folks can't cross the street everyday.

Jason Winburn
Jason Winburn

At some point people have to be responsible for their part in the situation. The blame and extortion game seems to never end these days.

Sergio Alejandro
Sergio Alejandro

I've been attending shows for my entire teenage and adult life - shows far more dangerous and physically unsafe than raves. The venues always acknowledge that injuries are an inevitability, but they always leave personal responsibility for one's well-being up to the attendee. I have sympathy to anyone whose lost their life or a loved one during the event, but banning it because of the lack of individual responsibility of a handful of people attending it won't solve anything. It penalizes the people who DO party responsibly and it'll affect city revenue, tourism, and Miami's EDM culture abroad (a culture that I don't even care for - seriously, that shit is for tone deaf squares.).

Rick Amador
Rick Amador

Bathsalts.... At least he didnt get to eat someones face off.

Cisco Fran
Cisco Fran

Im sorry about that kid's death but who's fault is it that he couldn't handle his drugs? His family should accept responsibility instead of pointing fingers

Mikhail Matorra Eterovic
Mikhail Matorra Eterovic

Answers are in heaven not in earth... Ultra is not responsible for Adonis decisions, I think their family is looking for money...

Kyle Haines
Kyle Haines

Kon Janco as opposed to rap culture or rock culture where no one does drugs?

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia

Its very easy.... He took too many drugs and overdosed himself.....be accountable for your own actions with moderation......now the family is gonna wanna make it a money issue and blame ultra and want money for it..... They don't want answers they want money.....

Erika Santana
Erika Santana

They blame ultra for that kid who died how..Really o ultra opened his mouth and put a pill in his mouth....are u people serious he choose to pop pills so I think it's his fault for dieing if he would not have done drugs he would still be here case closed! Now stop messing with ULTRA CUZ THEY DONT GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT KID HE CHOOSE TO DO DRUGS PERIODLY,

Piero Soracco
Piero Soracco

good point Jamie, everyone know what they are in for when you have a huge concert like that however maybe they should put a play at your own risk sign'so no one can sue the festival and they are not responsible for everyone's actions, this guy wants to shut down Ultra when it took so much hard work to get were they are at now..get an autopsy and if he had drugs in his system that was clearly on him not anyone else'they are going to start monitoring everything everyone does at every festival if they shut down Ultra so guys please go on Tiesto's page and sign that petition! it's not fair to the rest of us, I will admit I haven't gone in years but I did help the man responsible for Ultra get it started and it would be disappointing to see that hard work go to pieces of rubble.

Kon Janco
Kon Janco

Says something about the DJ "music" culture when their DJs are always ODing.

Chloe Danielle Castro
Chloe Danielle Castro

As much as I sympathize with the families who lost their loved ones, this article was written with a bias perspective and its proven through the language the author uses. "Adonis Escoto was found dead in a car WHILE attending ULTRA". Actually he was found dead in a car after he left ULTRA because cars are not allowed into the venue. Slipping drugs into a persons drink is something that may occur at any location, specifically the clubs in Miami Beach. But no one threatens to shut them down, In fact countless clubs on Miami Beach are in numerous law suits for mishaps like this and all they get is a penalty fine and a slap in the wrist. That being said, each person is in charge of their own safety and life. It is a known fact that some people use drugs at these events but usually those people have not been drugged, chances are that they rolled the dice and drugged themselves. ULTRA should not be penalized for these occurrences. I can't deny that they do need a bigger space though, ULTRA has outgrown itself! Congrats to the makers of ULTRA, you guys started the biggest party ever and what better a place to have started it in than the ever thriving city of Miami. Keep doing what you do and just hope that individuals learn how to control themselves in such environments.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

You ain't gonna get it from Ultra...instead demand answers from the friends that prolly gave him the drugs he took.

Sol1
Sol1

This kid's death is a tragedy. My heart really goes out to his family. Why would his friends have taken him back to the car then returned to the concert unless they KNEW he'd been drinking or doing drugs? If he wasn't they would've thought it was the sudden onset of a serious medical problem and gotten him help. Don't blame the concert, blame his irresponsible "friends". This will haunt them for the rest of their lives. 

Muse TD
Muse TD

Its the kid's fault but Ultra is a BS festival. It's a poser raver scene. Most people have no clue what they are doing and go just to get F'ed up. If they all really went for the music then no one would be dying of overdoses in cars. Ultra has and always will be about $$$. Not about Djs and not about music.

Millie Santana
Millie Santana

It is sad, but I think there is a lot more to this story. I'm not a fan of ultra, but I am a HUGE fan of the music. Perhaps the city doesn't have to get rid of it, I think they just have to find a more suitable and secured venue for it like the Marlins stadium.

Walky Hernandez
Walky Hernandez

Ultra is a "death trap" did ultra give him drugs to take? Seriously I know it's sad but people need to be held accountable for their own actions. If you want answers then it definitely starts in the household. Why weren't they more aware of his brothers behavior and actions?

Røb Høłłand
Røb Høłłand

If someone put "Something" in his drink then that person killed him!

Jamie Anable
Jamie Anable

I had a friend from highschool everyone was accusing him of dying from pills because they couldn't understand why someone so young would die it must be drugs... They slandered his name until his dad posted his autopsy report online.. it's not always the case but everyone loves to make accusations

Jamie Anable
Jamie Anable

Also In the past people have made speculations and then reports come back of natural causes. It seems the media never follows up and just likes to bash because it makes for better news

Chris Funk
Chris Funk

I'll say it again, he's a party martyr. The party gods have him now.

Lynette A Rodriguez
Lynette A Rodriguez

Come on!!! He did drugs & he died.. He was no angel.... The brother went 6 TIMES!!! What does that tells Uuu!!! Dumb ass HE has more fault than his own brother........

Jamie Anable
Jamie Anable

He's angry and he's entitled to be he lost his little brother. His little brother went there for a reason... He wanted to enjoy the music and the festival nobody made him go. The music and the festival did not kill him and obviously his little brother loved and supported it so he should let it be what it is... An accident (unless someone poisoned him) music and festivals don't kill people people kill people or natural causes etc but same thing with the security guard people did that to her. This young man made a conscious decision to attend the music festival and an accident happened nobody made him go

Henrietta Murplestein
Henrietta Murplestein

Understand and sympathize with these relatives, but shooting blame at a festival is aimless and wrong...personal responsibility is what it's all about. 99,999 enjoyed themselves nightly and went home, to return next year because it's all about the music, contrary to minority beliefs....

Steve Klare
Steve Klare

What do his friends who took him to the car and left him there have to say? Sounds like really good Friends!! DUH.

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