The 13th annual Deltopia will be the first to take place under the new social ordinances and temporary suspension of the Restorative Justice Program.

The Deltopia occupancy peaked at approximately 15,000 in 2023. Mark Alfred / Daily Nexus

Deltopia is an annual unsanctioned street festival, dating back to 2004, formerly known as Floatopia. It garnered a crowd of approximately 15,000 in 2023, resulting in a 300% increase in arrests and citations from the prior year. I.V. Foot Patrol (IVFP) Lieutenant Garrett TeSlaa called  the weekend a “significant strain on emergency services,” the city of Goleta and Santa Barbara County, according to a 2023 Nexus article

Following the festival and an overall effort by county officials to clamp down on Isla Vista party culture, the Santa Barbara County (SBC) Board of Supervisors voted on new outdoor festival and social host ordinances in 2023. These ordinances effectively banned paid tickets for entry, limited occupancy to 250 and authorized law enforcement to shut down parties for certain activities such as giving alcohol to minors. 

In March, the IVFP announced that citations issued from Saturday at 6 a.m. to Sunday at 6 a.m. will not be eligible for the IVFP Restorative Justice (RJ) Program. The program was established in 2019 as a community-level approach where UCSB students and I.V. residents could waive nonviolent misdemeanor citations — like holding an open container — by taking a class and doing community service hours. TeSlaa said the suspension intends to control the number of increasing citations, arrests and medical emergencies.

Our belief is that the event is so unlawful and is so dangerous and is such an attack on medical resources throughout the county, participation in the event is by itself inherently uncooperative with law enforcement and public safety agencies like the fire department,” TeSlaa said in a Nexus article.

Per the new rules and Deltopia’s tragedy last year — one student died from a multiple substance overdose  — campus and county organizations have prepared several harm-prevention-geared events to educate and protect students and the Isla Vista environment.

The Associated Students (A.S.) Committee on Student Well-Being (COWSB) and Gauchos for Recovery (GFR) are hosting the first-ever Overdose Prevention Week, with the A.S. Public and Mental Health Commission (PMH), the Office of the External Vice President of Student Affairs (EVPLA) and 19 other participating organizations. Woodstock’s, Spudnuts Donuts, Blenders in the Grass, I.V. Drip, Yetz’s Bagels, Celsius and Redbull are supporting the events by sponsoring products.

The week includes tabling at the Arbor, educational events at campus and county centers and several Narcan distribution efforts. 

Each person we reach matters,” COSWB Vice-Chair Le Anh Metzger said in a press release to the Nexus.

A.S. Committee for Student-Wellbeing and Gauchos for Recovery are hosting the first-ever Overdose Prevention Week. Tara Dialameh/Daily Nexus

COSWB and GFR will be tabling Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arbor with overdose prevention kits and free food, varying by day. The kits include two doses of Narcan and fentanyl test strips. 

They are also promoting a petition for Narcan to be distributed in university student housing and Greek-life housing, citing the recommendations of Assembly Bill 1841, which requires the same distribution at Cal State and California Community College.

“Santa Barbara County saw an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths from 38 in 2017 to 121 in 2022, with most (95%) of the deaths in 2022 due to Fentanyl, and deaths due to opioids represented 72% of all alcohol and drug-related overdose deaths reported in 2022,” the petition stated.

Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) and the SBC Supervisor, hosted by EVPLA, have Narcan for pickup at Walter Capps Park from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The EVPLA and A.S. Life of the Party (LOTP) are hosting a “Know Your Rights/Deltopia Prep” workshop at the Student Resource Building Multipurpose Room from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

A.S. PMH is hosting a screening of “Beautiful Boy” on Wednesday, with a time and location to be determined.

IVCSD is hosting a “Party Safety for All” meeting in the Community Room or via Zoom from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Attendees can learn about cliff safety, new ordinances and emergency preparedness and how to act in emergency situations. Volunteer hours are eligible and there will be snacks and beverages.

The A.S. Public Safety Commission is hosting a “Deltopia Preparedness Day” at the Pardall Center from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. EVPLA, Legal Resource Center and UCSB Emergency Management and Mission Continuity will present tabling and education, and Red Cross instructors from the Department of Recreation will be offering free CPR, first aid and other emergency response training. There will also be overdose prevention kits for distribution and free pizza.

“This event is important in providing students with education and materials to keep themselves and others safe and informed, especially in light of the major public safety emergencies and challenges presented by Deltopia in the past,” A.S. Public Safety Commission Social Media Coordinator and Technology Outreach Xin Qi said in a statement to the Nexus.

On Saturday, the day of Deltopia, IVCSD is hosting an alternative event to Deltopia — the “Spring Festival” — at Little Acorn Park with free food, hydration stations and local Isla Vista band performances. LOTP and GFR will be providing Narcan and other emergency resources.

UC Isla Vista (UCIV), hosted by the EVPLA, will have Narcan for pickup at Camino Pescadero Park. They will also provide food, water and escort services.

A.S. Program Board is hosting its spring quarter concert “The Warm-Up” with headliner Larry June at the Thunderdome at 8 p.m. Entry requires a valid UCSB access card. Tickets cost $5 and are available for purchase now.

Following the festival, IVCSD is hosting a spring “clean-up” event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at Window to the Sea Park and the IVCSD office. There will be Woodstock’s pizza, vouchers and games with prizes.

The Nexus will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

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Lizzy Rager
Lizzy Rager (she/her) is the Assistant News Editor for the 2024-25 school year. She can be reached at lizzyrager@dailynexus.com