Isla Vista streets gridlocked with crop tops, bathing suits, and booze Saturday afternoon for Deltopia, the community’s unsanctioned spring street party. Wind chill and road blockages didn’t seem to deter masses of 6,000-8,000 partygoers, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, who swarmed Del Playa Drive.
Among this crowd, 68 citations, 42 arrests, and 14 injuries ensued, according to the Sheriff’s Office and the University of California Police Department. These included emergency response to a 22-year-old female UCSB student who fell from a balcony onto the beach; a physical altercation between three male suspects and several residents hosting a party; and about a dozen large parties broken up by law enforcement due to “various safety concerns and law violations such as overcrowding, underage drinking, and bottles and other debris being thrown from the balconies of residences.”
These numbers, while slightly higher than last year’s, still plummeted in comparison to 2014. That year, the infamous Deltopia riots amassed a crowd of 20,000-25,000 and wrangled in 190 citations, 130 arrests, and 50 emergency medical transports.
The decrease can be attributed to efforts by law enforcement and UCSB administration to control the event’s chaos. In addition to roadblocks and parking regulations on DP and Sabado Tarde, the two main party streets in Isla Vista, law enforcement enacted a community-wide noise ordinance that went into effect at 6 p.m. This thwarted residents’ abilities to blast the music that attracts partygoers (or, in the case of many out-of-towners, party-searchers).
UCSB also sponsored an R.L. Grime and Destructo concert at 7 p.m., hosted at the Thunderdome on campus. This directed “thousands” to leave Isla Vista, according to Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover. In addition, UCIV, UCSB’s Associated Students volunteer program, set up booths on DP to hand out water, snacks, and condoms.