HEALTH & SAFETY / LIABILITY
Live events sector
The Hard Music Summer Festival in California has left three people dead. The festival, in its ninth year, takes place at the Auto Club Speedway in San Bernardino County, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. The music festival experienced two tragic deaths last year in 2015 Some 325 arrests were made at this year’s festival and Sheriff’s officials told KTLA that drugs including marijuana and methamphetamine were confiscated by the police. Reports say that the festival organisers have made attempts to create a safer environment for concert-goers, This year attendees were able to seek medical attention while at the festival if they had taken drugs without legal consequences. Water was readily available and shade was provided if people needed a break from the hot California sun. Temperatures reached the high ninties reports say. Organisers issued a statement saying ““We were deeply saddened to learn about the deaths of three people who attended the festival this weekend. While the causes of the deaths have not yet been determined, we ask everyone to keep them in their prayers. Our sincerest thoughts and condolences are with their family and friends.”
The three dead adults have been identified by the Coroner’s Division of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department as Derek Lee from San Francisco who was just 22-years-old, Roxanne Ngo, also 22 years old, from Chino Hills, and Alyssa Dominguez from San Diego who died at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital of Fontana at the age of 21.
The parents of a girl who died at last year’s HARD Summer festival have filed a law suit against Live Nation and the Los Angeles County Fair Association. 19-year-old Katie Dix, was one of two young people who died of drug consumption at the 2015 event. Her parents accused LN, the association, Los Angeles County and the city of Pomona, of negligence. According to The Los Angeles Times, the suit says organizers knew that illegal drugs would be consumed and created dangerous conditions while failing to protect those in attendance.
Pollstar reports that the family of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez, who died at Electric Daisy Carnival in 2010, received a $190,000 settlement from organizer Insomniac Inc., the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and an insurer in 2012. The event has since left the Coliseum, and now takes place in Las Vegas. No liability was admitted.
And bereaved parent Dede Goldsmith is on a mission is to amend a piece of federal legislation called the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act, commonly known as the RAVE Act. (RAVE in this case stands for Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy.) This act, Goldsmith and her allies believe, is the key impediment to harm reduction services at festivals. Dede’s daughter Shelly died in August 2013 aged just 19 after taking MDMA, or ecstasy, and attending a Dada Life show at a club in Washington DC.
And IQ features an interesting article: ‘Pill testing. The cure for music’s drug problem? As Hard Summer ends in tragedy for the second year running, we ask if police-backed drug testing – recently trialled at Secret Garden Party and Kendal Calling in the UK– could be the way forward