Mayor addresses deaths at Sunset Music Festival

- Mayor Bob Buckhorn said, if it were up to him, the Sunset Music Festival would not be held in Tampa next year, after two concert-goers died and 57 were taken to the hospital.

"The [Tampa] Sports Authority, they need to look at whether that is an appropriate type of event for this community to host," Buckhorn said Wednesday.

The event was attended by 30,000 people. Tampa police charged 25 people with felonies. 

For comparison, at this year's Gasparilla Pirate Festival, only two faced felonies, and that was attended by 300,000 people.

"They really exhausted our resources and our support resources as well," said Tampa Fire Chief Thomas Forward. "You call, we are going to come, so we will re-designate and reposition our resources to respond to the need."

An ER nurse at St. Joe's, which received 40 of the patients, tells FOX 13 News, "they saw back-to-back dehydrated children, all on Molly," a drug also known as or ecstasy.

"The types of drugs that tend to be associated with those electronic dance music festivals obviously has catastrophic results for people who make bad decisions," Buckhorn said.

Autopsies have not been completed for 21-year-old Katie Bermudez of Kissimmee and 22-year-old Alex Haynes of Melbourne.

The mayor ordered police and fire chiefs to put together reports on what happened.

"You can't necessarily assign blame, but clearly it is not an environment conducive to positive things happening," said Buckhorn. "The Sports Authority, they need to look at whether that is an appropriate type of event for this community to host."

The Sunshine Music Festival said Tuesday, safety is its first priority, but were waiting until autopsies were done before saying more.

A police spokesman said the festival did provide more security this year, compared to last.

"This year, they did more than they did the previous year. I don't know what plans they have for next year, but they are going to be well aware of the numbers we had this year," Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

The Tampa Sports Authority is expected to release a statement this afternoon.

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