Friday night kicked off the 16th annual Deltopia in Isla Vista. The event was accompanied by sunny weather with a 70 degree Fahrenheit high. The event this year drew in an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 attendees according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office. This is a sharp rise from the previous year that saw a crowd of 10,000.
Local law enforcement prepared for the weekend with measures designed to maximize public safety. The number of anticipated attendees of Deltopia drove officials to take special precautions. Although the Sheriff’s Office reports that the number of arrests and citations increased since last year, the number of medical transports dropped by 24 percent compared to the previous year.
In contrast to ordinary Saturday I.V. parties that continue through the night, this weekend’s noise ordinance took effect at 6 p.m. while there was still daylight. “I enjoyed this Deltopia. It was different than typical I.V. because it had moments where it was more mellow and relaxed,” said third year political science major John George.
Some measures adopted by law enforcement included implementing roadblocks in six intersections in Isla Vista, safety stations stocked with both snacks and water, and surveillance cameras set up on Del Playa, Pardall, and Embarcadero Del Mar. “The idea is to have enough foot patrol nearby and within one block’s reach in I.V. so that we can respond immediately if the need arises,” said officer Gary Gaston of UC Police Department (UCPD).
Two men from out of town were suspected of an armed robbery assault and taken into custody by law enforcement. These suspected individuals were initially stopped Sunday night at about 11 p.m. on the 6700 block of Sabado Tarde for driving without headlights. Following the smell of marijuana emanating from their car, deputies conducted a search and discovered 5lbs of marijuana, a brick of cocaine, Xanax pills, and a firearm.
During the traffic stop, the two victims of the robbery approached the deputies to report that they have been robbed. One of the two victims of the crime was pistol-whipped; he suffered injuries to the head and was bleeding with a large wound over his eye. The sheriff is charging both arrested men with conspiracy, robbery, possession of a loaded firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Among the attendees who showed up this weekend were newcomers. “This was my first Deltopia and it was really fun; I think that it was a bit over-hyped, but the amount of people outside creates an interesting atmosphere” said first year global studies major and art minor Stephanie Galven.
Along Del Playa, party-goers hydrated themselves in the heat and made use of the water station set up by the street. All of the 19 medical transports were related to alcohol and/or drug consumption. One transport included a young woman who fell off the cliff on the 6800 block of Del Playa; her injuries were not life threatening.
In an effort to divert crowds through alternative events, UCSB Associated Students Program Board hosted its fifth annual Warm Up concert at the Thunderdome, featuring Troyboi. The recreation center hosted a roller skating event. Both events were only open to UCSB students. “I would have preferred to attend the events put on by Associated Students had I known about them Deltopia weekend,” 3rd year psychology major Warren G. told The Bottom Line.
Following the event was a volunteer Deltopia cleanup hosted by Adopt-a-Block and the Isla Vista recreation and Park district. Dozens attended with gloves and buckets on Sunday morning to clean up the aftermath through this eco-friendly initiative.