Donna Rapado, NBC Miami, October 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.
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.