Police make nearly 20 felony, misdemeanor arrests at SMF; promoter adds security, water stations

Promoters, police step up security measures
Posted at 11:26 PM, May 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-28 11:22:35-04

Tampa police made nearly 20 arrests on the first day of the Sunset Music Festival in the north parking lot of Raymond James Stadium.

Throngs of colorfully dressed, skin-baring millennials packed the pulsing, high energy techno music party on a hot, sunny Saturday. Many more are expected back for the second and final run today.

By Saturday night, police had made 14 felony arrests, mostly drug related; 4 misdemeanor arrests; and had kicked out 10 other participants.

Keeping the venue secure and the attendees hydrated were big themes at the music festival Saturday. 

The organizers stepped up security measures after nearly 60 people were hospitalized and two died at last year's music festival. 

They added free water stations and a cooling center to help people get out of the sun and  stay hydrated.

Tampa Police Department increased its presence at this year's festival too.

Tampa police checked the bags of all the festival-goers before they could enter the festival grounds. They also had a presence near the exits as people came out. 

"You see in the news and you think that will never happen to me, but you know the scary reality is that it could," said Alejandro Quintero, referring to the terror attack in Manchester, England, this week.