MBPD Monitoring Memorial Day Weekend Events

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

MBPD Monitoring Memorial Day Weekend Events:

New promoter ordinance being tested

Following the City’s enactment of its promoter ordinance, which prohibits certain special events within the Entertainment District during high impact periods, at least two events have been canceled or postponed. As we reported last week, Cameo cancelled the “Henny and Waffles Brunch” though the event website says it was “postponed.” 
We noted that Sizzle Miami’s Ultimate Circuit Party scheduled for Thursday night relocated from Trade at 1439 Washington Avenue to Wynwood. Trade falls within the boundaries of the ordinance which covers Ocean, Collins, and Washington Avenues between 5th and 16th Streets. They’re putting a good face on it, though: “Like you, we’re super excited that we won’t be caught in the famous Memorial Weekend Loop Memorial Day Weekend in South Beach,” according to the Sizzle Miami website. Sizzle Miami, which describes itself as “America’s most celebrated and anticipated urban gay event,” has eight events during the weekend, four on Miami Beach but outside of the Entertainment District.
While Mayor Dan Gelber spoke with us about Cameo, nobody else wants to talk about the strategy or results. We didn’t receive a response to our requests for comment from the City’s Code Department about the overall success or how many events may have been denied permits or moved. Neither Trade nor Sizzle Miami responded to our requests for comment about their particular event and the reason for the move.
Miami Beach Police Department Patrol Major Paul Acosta, however, briefed the Commission’s Neighborhood and Community Affairs Committee on MBPD’s plans for Memorial Day Weekend (MDW) with regard to special events. Note: Events promoted by owners of clubs and bars at their own establishments do not fall under the ordinance nor do event organizers who are granted special event permits by the City. The target is the outside promoters who advertise heavily on social media, attracting large numbers of people, and who have no plans for dealing with crowds as required when obtaining special event permits. 
Acosta told the Neighborhoods Committee that part of the MDW plan is the closing of Española way beginning Thursday evening from Collins Avenue to Washington Avenue with barricades. MBPD is also providing additional lighting for the area. 
“What we’ve noticed with a lot of events that come into that particular area is that seems to be the hub of a lot of activity,” Acosta said, citing the recent shooting death of rapper AAB Hellabandz in the 200 block of Española Way on May 11 during the Rolling Loud weekend.
“What we want to try to do is own the street, have police presence out there, light it up in those dark areas so that when people do congregate we’re able to see things more effectively,” he said. “We’ve also instituted some surveillance measures that’ll help us also in monitoring that particular street over the four-day weekend.”
As to MDW events, Acosta said, “We’re monitoring several events currently on the radar, about 60 events at our local clubs. Our intel unit is doing a lot of research. We’re getting very detailed in how we communicate with the club promoters, with the people that are going to be performing, their management staff, intelligence on any ongoing problems with regards to any performers coming to our city and communicating with the police agencies from which those particular issues are arising. So, there’s a lot of ‘in the weeds’ conversations with promotors, with owners, and police agencies from particular areas where performers are coming from."

"We’re monitoring it. Right now, we feel we have a pretty good idea of what’s coming in and we’re preparing for it. We’ve increased staffing around certain areas ahead of Memorial Day Weekend so we’ll be ready to go with it," Acosta said.

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