Man Who Died at EDC Vegas Identified as Nicholas Austin Tom

Man Who Died at EDC Vegas Identified as Nicholas Austin TomEXPAND
File photo of EDC Las Vegas by Marco Torres/L.A. Weekly

The man who died at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas over the weekend was identified by Las Vegas coroner's officials as Nicholas Austin Tom of San Francisco.

The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at the site of the three-day festival, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, at 3:25 a.m. Sunday, said an official with the Clark County Coroner-Medical Examiner's office.

The cause of death could take up to eight weeks to pin down because toxicology tests, which could determine whether  the deceased had been using prescription drugs or narcotics, were being conducted out-of-state, the official said.

The electronic dance music concert, promoted by Beverly Hills–based Insomniac Events, moved to Las Vegas in 2011 following political uproar about a 15-year-old girl who died after she took ecstasy and sneaked into EDC at the publicly owned L.A. Coliseum in 2010.

Since moving to Vegas, the event has seen more than one death a year. Nearly all the victims used ecstasy (aka MDMA or molly).

Last year 24-year-old Montgomery Tsang of San Leandro died from "acute methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) toxicity," a coroner's official told us.

In 2014, EDC attendee Anthony Anaya, a 25-year-old from Everett, Washington, died at his hotel of "combined ethanol, MDMA and cocaine intoxication," a coroner's official said.

In 2012, EDC attendee Emily McCaughan, a 22-year-old University of Arizona student, died after falling 20 stories from her hotel on the Strip and suffering "multiple blunt-force injuries." Her friends reportedly said the young woman went back to her room after believing someone was following her. 

Coroner's officials determined she had ecstasy, methamphetamine (a component of ecstasy) and so-called date-rape drug GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, in her system when she died.

That year Olivier Hennessy, a 31-year-old from Ponce Inlet, Florida, who graduated from UC Irvine, was fatally struck by a pickup as he stumbled onto a roadway outside Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coroner's officials said he had hydrocodone, marijuana and alcohol in his system.

After 2010 the event's organizers, which now include Beverly Hills–based Live Nation, the largest concert promoter in the world, tightened up security, adopted a no-tolerance stance toward hard drugs, and changed the door policy from all-ages to 18 and older. 

Man Who Died at EDC Vegas Identified as Nicholas Austin TomEXPAND
File photo of EDC Las Vegas 2015 by Marco Torres/L.A. Weekly

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Las Vegas Metro Police said 76 people were arrested, mostly for drug-related felonies, over the weekend. A whopping 1,426 people required or requested medical attention during the festival, cops reported.

Temperatures reached higher than 110 degrees during the event, and most of the medical cases were said to be minor.

EDC isn't the only electronic dance music festival beset by ecstasy-related deaths. MDMA overdoses have caused uproars at festivals and club events in New York and Boston in recent years, and the drug has long been associated with club tragedies in the United Kingdom.

The three-day party in Las Vegas, which included a surprise stage appearance by actor Bryan Cranston during Above and Beyond's DJ set, claims to have one of the largest mainstages in North America.

About 135,000 people attended each day, promoters say.

Here's the statement promoter Insomniac Events sent us Sunday, when word of a death was first reported:

We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the man who passed away. The health and safety of our fans is Insomniac's first priority and we take every measure to create a safe environment. While the cause of this tragedy will take some time to determine, we ask that you keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. Tonight and every night, we ask all of our fans to take care of themselves and one another. 

See our extensive music coverage of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2015 at www.laweekly.com/musicSend feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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