Over the weekend, one intrepid young man in Miami pulled off a coup: Instead of paying more than $350 to attend the three-day dance music festival known as Ultra, Jack packed up a bag with snorkeling gear, threw on a wetsuit and decided to swim into the concert for free.
Given the number of cops hovering near the festival grounds at Bayfront Park, both on the street and in marine patrol boats, Jack had to work boldly and decisively, essentially role-playing a lone Navy SEAL infiltrating a high-value compound. In a video he uploaded to TikTok, you can see him launch into the water off a concrete structure with a distinct stainless-steel ladder, before it cuts to him swimming in the rocky shallows, traveling north with the shore to his left.
We see him “almost get caught” while floating past a concrete boat dock, just feet from where attendees would be walking; footage from the shore shows a festival employee in red pointing him out with his handheld metal detector. Then the video abruptly cuts to what looks like two police boats converging on a swimmer near a bridge, dragging the body out by the arms. The plan looks to be foiled… until a plot twist worthy of early-career M. Night Shyamalan appears out of nowhere.
The police have caught Jack — but instead of a trip to county jail or a misdemeanor ticket, they reward him with a VIP wristband, gifting Jack the wetsuited party of a lifetime (and some absurdist photos of him grinning, swimming fins in hand, with a pack of smiling Miami police).
A deep forensic analysis of the footage — okay, we’ll call it 30 minutes of cross-referencing Google Maps street-view and a festival map — suggests an elegant plan: Jack appears to have jumped into the water just south of the music festival’s VIP entrance, along a walkway that abuts the One Miami condo complex. You can see the same kind of ladder in this screenshot:
Then it appears the concrete boat dock Jack is swimming under is indeed the same dock next to the Intercontinental Hotel, which served as the VIP entrance for the weekend (and is normally used as the launch point for the swanky Seafair Mega Yacht).
What makes the TikTok clip weird, however, are some glaring inconsistencies in timeline and geography after this point. The footage that Jack cuts to as evidence of him being caught by police is angled in such a way that the camera is pointing south, framing the FTX Arena’s distinctive facade through the gaps between massive concrete bridge supports. That means it was taken quite a bit north of the Ultra Music Festival grounds — the closest match suggests the “police boat” scene unfolded near the base of the MacArthur Causeway bridge.
That’s more than a mile north of where we last spotted Jack near the festival, which would be an exhausting and dangerous navigational error given the strong currents and large boats in the waterway. While the footage is blurry, you can clearly see law enforcement wearing beige uniforms and tactical vests — the normal gear of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, not the usual Miami city police patrols. The body they pull up doesn’t appear to be wearing Jack’s brightly patterned blue wetsuit, either.
So what’s going on? My closest guess is that it’s a random bit of local news footage from a swimmer rescue, slipped into the TikTok to provide visual drama and narrative cohesion, but it does raise questions about the veracity of the rest of the story. Did the cops who found him really allow him to not just get away scot-free, but actually gift him a VIP bracelet? Or did he already have VIP admission and simply choose to get busted while floating in the shallows near Bayfront Park? It would be easier to talk your way out of trouble if you could explain it was a harmless prank, after all.
Providing clarity is the fact that one commenter claims to have seen him in the water near Ultra, which suggests Jack really did get captured right by the festival entrance, despite the TikTok suggesting otherwise.
I reached out to Jack and the Miami-Dade Police Department for clarification on exactly what went down, but have yet to hear back. So for now, the story of a dude who clumsily swam up to a music festival, got caught, but partied anyway all night long is the perfect internet tale: Weird and ambitious enough to deserve viral attention, but oddly wholesome in conclusion. With any luck, for next year’s Ultra, someone will invest in some proper SCUBA gear and a weight belt, and finish the job as intended.
What they won’t have to worry about is whether they’re dressed for the occasion afterward. As Jack wrote in a recent comment: “Funny thing is, once I was in there, nobody questioned the outfit at all.”