Plans to increase safety at Sunset Music Festival presented to city

Josh Cascio reports

- Despite two deaths related to ecstasy and 57 hospitalizations, Andrew Farone says there's more to the Sunset Music Festival than the negative headlines.

"It's a safe and fun environment for everyone," he said.

Monday he spoke on behalf of the festival at a special Tampa Sports Authority meeting where the future of SMF sat in limbo.

"Please don't punish 1000s for a few adults who made poor decision for their own health and own safety," he said.

The TSA board would ultimately vote to allow the festival back next year, providing the organizers put in a place several new safety measures. Those include things like additional water stations and bottles, more police, more drug dogs and increased medical personnel on site.

"We're going to continue working with TSA, TPD and Fire to create a very safe and happy experience for our customers" said organizer John Santoro.

But that isn't satisfying opponent Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He's been outspoken about SMF, he told the Tampa Bay Times: "These are promoters in pursuit of profit and they could care less for the health, safety and welfare of attendees."

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