Phase 2 Mass Casualty Incident Declared at Avicii Concert, on the Heels of 2 Deaths at EDC
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This past week has been a sad one for EDM as a result of EDC and an Avicii concert in Boston. One of the premier EDM festivals in the country, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas (EDC LV), occurred from June 20-22 from 7pm-5:30am each night. What should be a time of excitement, fun, and enjoyment, can turn deadly: the festival had 2 deaths, 25 hospitalizations, and 800 (that’s right EIGHT HUNDRED) on-site medical treatments.
But while those two deaths barely made the morning news on Monday, what did make headlines was last night’s Avicii concert, held at the TD Garden Stadium in Boston. The event was declared a “Phase 2 Mass Casualty Incident,” meaning that over 30 people had to be hospitalized (many cited the extremely hot conditions in the venue contributing to dehydration). At the concert, over 36 people between the ages of 16 and 25 were hospitalized, mostly due to alcohol- and drug-related issues, and 50 more people were treated on site. At one point, a bus had to be called in to truck 10 concert goers to the hospital. According to the Boston Herald, “This is a mass casualty incident that greatly impacts our resources, Boston police resources as well as area hospitals.” If you were planning on robbing a bank or going on a shooting spree, it might be wise to wait until an Avicii concert is happening. And try to avoid that heart attack you were planning– you may have to wait in line after the 36 people who decided they were going to go overboard with partying that night.
Naturally, Avicii had a really powerful response to his fans’ excesses (which could have been potentially life threatening):
Just hearing the awful news abt tonight. Its a terrible thing, I rly hope everyone is ok! My thoughts go to those affected & their families.
— Tim Bergling (@Avicii) June 26, 2014
This isn’t the first time Avicii has come under criticism for his performances. SNL recently hosted a skit making fun of the excesses of the EDM scene, directly calling out Avicii with the similarly named, made up “Davnicii”:
It is important to note that not every EDM concert or festival has fatalities or hospitalizations (such as Mysteryland USA, which just occurred on Memorial Day of this year, and reportedly had zero hospitalizations). However, an overwhelming amount of EDM events are marred by these numbers. Last summer, after two deaths and four hospitalizations at Electric Zoo in New York City, the festival was cancelled for its third day– the first known festival cancellation due to medical concerns. In terms of hospitalizations, it was much less than EDC LV or the Avicii concert, and it makes you wonder how bad it actually has to get for a city to step in and cancel. It makes sense that the City of New York would call for a shutdown, as it is both a financial, medical, and emotional strain on the city. Another major festival that hit the news for its casualties was Paradiso Festival 2013 in Washington state, with 1 dead and over 40 hospitalized.
Although Avicii had been at EDC as well, he (and artists in general) is obviously not (solely) to blame for the incidents of this past week. The real question is: what is it about certain EDM events that causes some people to throw all caution to the wind, buy whatever random popular drug their friends have, and drink an ungodly amount of alcohol? The thing is, when these incidents happen, they not only put the whole music scene in a negative light, they also pull officers and hospital doctors’ away from other serious crimes and incidents. Therefore, it makes sense for local governments to feel the need to intervene, whether by shutting down the event or requiring greater police presence. When you’re at your next festival and you see drug dogs and tons of police and you complain about how this is a “police state,” you may also want to consider mentioning to your friend that he should not buy those random powders from that random guy just because he says it’s “fire.” Also remember, these extra police and EMS presences aren’t free and are definitely going into the ticket cost. So this issue actually should be of financial concern for you as it comes out of your taxes and ticket fees (not to mention the devastating emotional cost of losing a friend and loved one). Coming up with a greater understanding of this issue as well as a solution should be the priority of everyone engaged in the music business/scene– fans, artists, producers, venues, and festival coordinators alike.
More From Twitter and Instagram:
— TD Garden (@tdgarden) June 26, 2014
— Patrick Charles (@getpatrick) June 26, 2014
— MetroBoston (@MetroBOS) June 26, 2014
— Root One Music (@RootOneMusic) June 26, 2014
— Doug the Diabetic (@DougtheDiabetic) June 26, 2014
— Jon Moniz (@jon_moniz) June 26, 2014
Sounds like there was a lot of bad acid dropped at the #Avicii concert in Boston tonight.
— Anti Glib (@AntiGlib) June 26, 2014