Fears Over Miami Beach Freaknik Event - NBC 6 South Florida

Fears Over Miami Beach Freaknik Event

Event planned for Spring Break on South Beach has residents concerned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Freaknik Miami

    Residents are voicing concerns over Freaknik Miami, an event scheduled for South Beach during Spring Break. (Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2011)

    A wild Spring Break party that was banned years ago in Atlanta is coming to Miami Beach in 2012, and residents are already worried it could get out of hand.

    The event, Freaknik Miami, is scheduled for the weekend of March 10-11, according to the official website. For $350, participants get an open bar bus ride from Atlanta to Miami Beach and a room at one of four area hotels.

    Though organizers are using the Freaknik name, they insist it has little to do with the now-defunct Atlanta event, which became out of control and was shut down in the 1990s after reports of violence, lootings and rapes.

    "No one that was actually on Freaknik Atlanta is associated with Freaknik Miami," organizer Otis Bailey told NBC Miami Thursday. "We just pretty much wanted to use the name because of the brand, it kind of excites people and gets people talking about it." 

    Bailey said one event is nothing like the other, despite the suggestive videos, pictures and advertising on Freaknik Miami's website.

    "Coming in spring 2012 we are bringing you a Freaknik experience bigger, badder, and sexier, than you have ever known before," the website says. "Only this time, we are taking Freaknik to a place that it has never been, a place that can only house a Freaknik of this magnitude...MIAMI, FLORIDA! Prepare for the ride of your lives as we bring you Freaknik Miami."

    City of Miami Beach spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez said the city was unaware of any parties associated with the event.

    "There are no city-approved special events permits that have been requested or issued for that period associated with anything called Freaknik," Rodriguez said in a statement.

    Bailey said participants will be checking into hotels and enjoying the beach like any other tourist. He also said they would be donating high school scholarships in the Miami area and performing community service while here.

    But after the events at this year's Miami Beach's Memorial Day Urban Beach week, where seven people were wounded and one person killed in a police involved shooting, residents are wary of a repeat.

    One Miami Beach resident said if it's as unsafe as Urban Beach Week, it would bother him, while another said it's just a matter of participants behaving themselves and having respect for the residents.

    Bailey said Urban Beach Week and Freaknik are two different demographics.

    "With Urban Beach Week, those were adults...but with us as college kids, we have to get back to school on Monday, we're just coming down there to enjoy Miami," he said.