By Scott T. Sterling
While this year’s massive Ultra Music Festival in Miami was another rousing success in terms of attendance, the annual EDM celebration had to endure a string of mishaps along the way including Avicii being forced to cancel his set at the last minute due to illness and a horrific trampling incident that sent a female security guard to the hospital with broken leg and brain hemorrhaging.
Now even more tragically, it’s been revealed that 21-year-old attendee Adonis Escoto was found dead in a parked car near the festival’s Bayfront Park location.
According to the Miami New Times, Escoto told friends he was feeling dizzy during the festival’s second night (March 29). Thinking he’d had too much to drink, his friends took him to the car to sleep it off and sober up. When they returned to the vehicle after the festival ended for the evening, they discovered Escoto had died.
“We have no idea what happened,” said his aunt, Rosa Escoto. “He didn’t take drugs. We think maybe someone put something in his drink without him knowing.”
“We are still looking into that,” Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said at a press conference (via NBC Miami) in regards to the cause of death. “The autopsy is yet to be completed and the toxicology will take probably a few months.”
The Miami New Times points out that Escoto being slipped something toxic without his knowledge is not inconceivable, citing a 2013 incident when an Ultra attendee fell into a coma and nearly died after being given water laced with antifreeze. Another 2013 Ultra attendee from New Jersey did lose his life from multiple organ failure, allegedly due to illicit drug use.
This year’s death at Ultra will surely add fuel to the growing fire of Miami political figures, including Mayor Tomas Regalado and City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, lobbying for an end to the festival’s tenure in the city.
“The mayor and I will be proposing a resolution in front of the commission that would deny them the ability to have Ultra in the future,” Sarnoff said during the aftermath of the trampling incident. “I think they have overstayed their welcome.”
While authorities are citing more than 80 arrests at this year’s Ultra fest, that’s down by half from the 2013 event, which clocked 167 arrests over the 3-day festival.