St. Pete Beach mayor addresses massive party

- A massive weekend party scheduled for St. Pete Beach is gaining attention online and in the community.  More than 170,000 people have viewed the "Blue Wave Float Party" invitation on social media, an event planned by 31-year-old rapper Forgiato Blow.

Blow, a St. Pete Beach native, described the party as a chance for fans to bring a float, relax and meet the performer. Blow travels the country and has appeared in multiple music videos.

"We are definitely not out here trying to do anything negative," Blow told FOX 13 News. "We definitely want everyone to have a good time. I don't want to disturb the people that are already coming to the beach. I just want to have a good day."

Blow has not taken out a permit for the event scheduled for the water behind the Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach.

"If I would have gone to get a permit, they probably would have said you can't do something like this," he said earlier this week.

The St. Pete Beach mayor weighed in on city concerns Thursday.

"Our normal procedure is for any gathering that's over 200  people would be for those organizing the event to get a permit so we can work with them to make sure they're addressing all the needs for the people gathered," Mayor Maria Lowe said. "The city of St. Pete Beach, for the last week, has been working on a social media party that was proposed but has not been permitted and is not authorized. That means the event does not have the proper resources to support the attendees."

According to Mayor Lowe, the city "wants to make sure anyone coming to the beach has a safe and happy time."

She told FOX 13 proper resources would include trash, emergency services, parking, and making sure there are provisions for emergency medical care. Other concerns include safety, bathrooms, impact on the beach and the animals nesting.

A resident reached out to the mayor with another proposal.

"I was approached by a resident who would like to pull a permit for Sunday and that permit would be for the residents of St. Pete beach to enjoy the beach and do a fundraiser for the library in order to hopefully have that library open by the 60th birthday of the city," Lowe said Thursday. "That request came with an equal request for the city of St. Pete Beach Commission to hold a meeting to consider that permit. The Blue Wave Float Party was also asked to submit a permit that could be properly resourced, but at this time they have not done so."

The mayor said she planned to speak with Blow about the resident's suggestion during a planned one-on-one lunch meeting Thursday afternoon. The music artist previously said the Blue Wave Float Party is "not about money" and "that's why there was no permit involved."

"People have hit me up offering me money to come paint people blue. They want to set up tents, have food, giveaways, raffle sales- it was [about] none of that," Blow said. "It's a day off for me to, relax with my friends and we're going to be out on the beach. We're not going to do any more than that."

Mayor Maria Lowe shared a different perspective.

"I value that he feels like the greater Tampa Bay area will draw a crowd that is far more responsible, however responsibility and accountability starts with the organizer. Whether a resident or not, whether a nonprofit or for profit, must get a permit for those over 200 people," said Lowe. "Forgiano Blow is striving to be a hip-hop artist. He wants to be a national recording artist and be viewed in that way. To be a professional entertainer requires knowing how to work with the venue, knowing how to organize his concerts, his gatherings, guide his fan base as a leader and as an organizer so that everyone can experience a positive time. If you want to be legitimate and you want to be in the entertainment industry, you need to prove that you're willing to work within a business environment. The entertainment industry is a business. They cannot have a negative relationship with the local governments and the local authorities. No matter what genre of music you may be in, it is important that you know the rules, how to work within them and you honor and respect those venues where you want to have an event."

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