The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors granted a request from the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday for the issuing of noise ordinances during the first two weekends of April in hopes of preventing Deltopia 2015 from becoming riotous and disorderly.
The noise ordinances come in the wake of last year’s Deltopia block party, during which excessive day partying ultimately led to nighttime riots. According to the current Facebook event, Deltopia 2015 is scheduled for Saturday April 4.
Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting in Santa Maria granted the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department’s request to help keep everyone safe during the unsponsored event.
“The changes were made at the request of the Sheriff’s department in order to assist them in managing the crowds at a Deltopia event, similar to what is already in place for the Halloween event,” Farr said. “Both Halloween and Deltopia are unsponsored events. This means no one wants to take responsibility or be liable for what happens at these events.”
According to Farr, supervisors felt the need to create the noise ordinances so that law enforcement could better prevent Deltopia from erupting in disorder again.
“The County’s main job is to protect the public’s health and safety and the Sheriff’s department felt that this would be an important tool to assist them in doing that during Deltopia,” Farr said.
Farr and other members on the Board of Supervisors created the noise ordinances by amending Chapter 6 Article VI of Santa Barbara County Code, which governs “outdoor festivals.” According to the code, an outdoor festival is defined as “any musical festival, dance festival, ‘rock’ festival or similar music activity”. Any person violating this code by staging an “outdoor festival” between 6 p.m. of such date and 7 a.m. of the following date will be subject to a citation. Farr said the noise ordinances will be in effect April 3–5 and 10–12.
As of Wednesday, 6,036 individuals on Facebook had identified themselves as “going” to the Deltopia 2015 event. Deltopia 2014 attracted an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 partygoers.
Fourth-year chemical engineering major Erich Brodbeck, who has lived on the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive for two years, proposed a checkpoint system to curb out-of-towners from entering I.V. Brodbeck pointed out that a majority of those arrested last year were out-of-towners and insisted that they are not invited this year.
“Ideally the police department should set up checkpoints around Isla Vista on the week leading up to Deltopia and on Deltopia weekend requiring people show proof of residence or some other form of identification,” Brodbeck said.
UCSB Police Department Sergeant Rob Romero said law enforcement is determined to maintain a safe environment should Deltopia take place.
“We will be bringing in additional UCPD support and will be implementing safety procedures similar to what students experienced during Halloween,” Romero said in an email. “Our role is to address issues of student and community safety and help create a safe environment. We will be working closely with the Sheriff’s Department towards this goal.”
According to Brodbeck, because Deltopia is scheduled online without restrictions, stronger steps should be taken to keep too many people from attending.
“Since the event is openly shared on Facebook and can reach many individuals, more drastic measures need to be taken in case these out-of-towners do show up expecting to party in our community,” said Brodbeck. “How our community handles Deltopia this year will speak volumes to all the eyes that are on us.”
[Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted Yang stating: “Since the event is openly shared on Facebook and can reach many individuals, more drastic measures need to be taken in case these out-of-towners do show up expecting to party in our community…How our community handles Deltopia this year will speak volumes to all the eyes that are on us.” This statement was actually provided by Erich Brodbeck. This article has been updated accordingly.]