TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - One of the biggest events of the summer is right around the corner as the Sunset Music Festival is set to return Saturday to Raymond James Stadium. Thousands of people are expected to be in attendance, but the extreme heat and near-record-setting highs could make it a dangerous weekend.
The festival, which brings in ravers from all over the U.S., has been haunted by bad weather, arrests and even deaths linked to Ecstasy overdoses over the past few years.
This year, authorities say a new danger -- the heat -- could be taking center stage.
"The big issue now is heat. It's going to be extremely hot, they're talking about historic highs for Memorial Day weekend so everyone needs to be hydrated," said Eddy Durkin, a spokesperson with the Tampa Police Department.
However, the extreme heat won't be stopping this show. Event organizers and first responders say they are prepared.
"The safety of our fans being the number one priority and, to prepare for the weather, we have added additional free water stations, high velocity misting fans, cool down tents with musical programming to entice fans to stay in the structures longer, and larger shade structures,” said Danielle Alvarez, a spokesperson for Sunset Music Festival.
Authorities are also urging caution, reminding attendees that taking your festival experience to new "highs" could result in some dangerous lows.
"You mix the elements of heat and alcohol and sometimes other substances, it can have a bad outcome," warned Chief LoCicero with Tampa Fire Rescue.
In 2016, the combination of heat and drugs proved to be deadly. Dozens were taken to the hospital, and two people died as a result of Ecstasy overdoses.
One of those people was 21-year-old Katie Bermudez from Kissimmee. Her family's lives changed in the blink of an eye.
"I had to get there and see my daughter that I had been talking to with no life in her," said Nancy Bermudez, Katie's mother, in a 2016 interview with FOX 13.
Since then, things have changed, including increased security and more options to keep concert goers from dehydration.
"Take all of those opportunities to the max so they will ensure their safety is paramount," said Chief LoCicero.
Authorities will be doing their part to keep everyone safe, but they add that the rest is up to you.
"It's incumbent for the people who are coming to have a good time, to make sure they're creating a safe place for everyone who's going to be there as well," said Durkin.
Festival organizers add that attendees can download their Sunset Music Festival app to be kept up-to-date on important weather, health and safety-related information.