Update: A “critical” patient has been released from the hospital. More details at the bottom. Corrects earlier reports that the victim was 15; headline has been changed to reflect new information.
15--year-old boy died at a Dallas version of a rave that sparked controversy in L.A. after a 15-year-old girl succumbed to an ecstasy overdose following her attendance at the Los Angeles Coliseum party nearly one year ago.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Saturday night “EDC” party in Dallas was shut down prematurely Sunday following the death and medical emergencies for nearly two dozen others.
The paper said authorities described the party as “chaotic,” a word that was also used after about 60 drug-related arrests and 200 medical emergencies were reported at L.A's June version that has since moved to Las Vegas for a three-day festival starting June 24.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans told the DMN this:
At one time there were at least 10 different rescue units responding to the event at once, with a number of Emergency Medical Services Supervisors and engine companies for manpower. The chaos finally came to a rapid stop when someone pulled a fire alarm around 1:30 a.m. and sent those that remained scattering.
teen's 19-year-old man's cause of death was unknown as of early Sunday.
Dallas saw triple-digit temps this weekend. Heat and the rave drug ecstasy don't mix and can lead to medical emergencies. As the brand heads to Vegas next weekend that's a fact that will surely weigh on first responders' minds.
Following last year's EDC controversy in L.A., which included chaotic moments of inside-the-venue gatecrashing, the promoter, Insomniac Events, vowed to impose an 18-and-older door policy with strict ID checks. But as we reported, that system broke down at a New Year's Eve party co-promoted by Insomniac at the coliseum's sister venue, the Sports Arena.
The two-day EDC in L.A. last summer prompted officials at the publicly owned coliseum/Sports Arena complex to reconsider allowing raves, and just this week the commission voted down a request to hold another New Year's rave at the adjacent Sports Arena.
Following the Dallas death, Insomniac honcho Pasquale Rotella issued this statement:
Our condolences and deepest sympathy go out to the family and friends of the man who passed away tonight. To go from a moment of happiness and enjoyment, to the loss of life, is very heartbreaking. We would like to ask everyone to keep the concertgoer and his family in their thoughts and prayers. Along with the independent local promoters in Dallas, we will work with the authorities to understand how this tragedy occurred.
Twitter was abuzz with word of the death and the party's apparently early end, with some users tweeting that multiple people had died at the party — an untruth as far as we can tell.
In a December cover story about the drug culture surround mega-raves we reported that deaths are not at all uncommon at the events and, in fact, have happened consistently in the last five years as the parties have grown to epic proportions.
EDC in L.A. saw about 160,000 people over two days and Insomniac seems to be hoping for 100,000 people a day over three days in Vegas next weekend.
Insomniac's Rotella says L.A. is the party's home and that he wants to bring Electric Daisy Carnival back to the place where it started.
Update: Our sister publication Dallas Observer IDs' the deceased as Andrew James Graf of Argyle.
The Observer reports that Baylor University hospital appeared to be overwhelmed with possible overdose patients starting about 11:30 last night and asked that victims be “dispersed” and taken elsewhere.
It says city officials were informed of three possible deaths at the rave, but that the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office knows of only one.
Update No. 2: Channel 8 (wfaa.com) in Dallas/Fort Worth reports another raver is believed to be in critical condition at Methodist Dallas Medical Center following the party, which it says saw about 30 medical transports for “drug, alcohol and heat-related illnesses.”
The station estimates about 23,000 people attended the sold-out event.
YouTube video depicts the party's shutdown during a set by Skrillex. The fire alarm is heard, and a voice is heard saying:
The fire marshal's here and Imma get arrested if I keep playing. I want everybody to be safe and calm. We gotta get outta here. Be safe.
Meanwhile our sister publication the Dallas Observer obtained this statement from Dallas city hall spokesman Frank Librio:
City officials are gathering information from various sources, including event-goers, regarding the event last night at Fair Park. This event was conducted with all of the proper procedures, approvals and safety measures in place including pre-event meetings to address security and police staffing levels. All festival attendees went through a driver's license screening and search process which included searching attendees' bags as well as having people empty their pockets. No outside beverages were permitted other than a sealed water bottle. Festival rules were posted at all entry points. Dallas Fire-Rescue had three medical assistance stations on site. There were no issues with air conditioning which was fully operational. Fair Park hosted this event in 2010 without similar incidents.
Update No. 3: CNN reports that the local fire marshal issued two citations, one for alleged overcrowding and another for “failure to obey the order of the fire marshal.”
According to the network, “His request for a half-hour halt in the music to help manage the crowd was refused … “
The party was scheduled to go until 2 but was shut down at 1:30 a.m.
The venue that hosted EDC, Fair Park, is also home to Texas' annual state fair.
Update No. 4: A city statement indicates says seven citations were issued to the promoter, including two for overcrowding, two for failure to obtain a count of occupants and three for alleged obstruction of justice.
The city says officials were notified of the death at 8:30 p.m. and that, as a result of the high number of medical transports, they decided to institute a “soft close” of the rave at 10:30 p.m., shutting down ticket sales and telling people to start leaving about midnight.
Two arrests were made — one for public intoxication and one for alleged possession of ecstasy.
Officials say the party saw about 21,000 people.
A Dallas Medical Examiner's official told the Weekly, meanwhile, that a hospital reported Graf's death to it at 10:51 p.m. Saturday. We were told he died in an emergency room.
The cause of death might not be known for eight to 12 weeks as examiners wait for results of toxicology tests.
Despite reports of a critical patients at the facility, a Methodist Dallas Medical Center told the Weekly she believed that the six patients it saw from Saturday night had all been released.
Update No. 5: That second patient said to be critical has been released from the hospital, according to a Dallas fire official and the Morning News.
First posted at 4:43 a.m. on Sunday, June 19.