About an hour ago, reports of the live stream to ASOT 700 cutting out during a part of Brian Kearny’s began to surface. Not too long after, rumors that someone had died during the performance began to arise. Not much longer, it was being said that a sound technician passed away. Twitter was aflutter with ASOT fan accounts and trance followers trying to confirm the news, but no official statement had been made until now.
That was the draft that I had ready to go this weekend when rumors of a death at ASOT 700 starting flying on Twitter. Hours of searching through official twitter accounts and Facebook pages yielded no useful information, and so it was largely chalked up to a rumor that spread like wildfire. Unfortunately, the rumor was only half wrong, and in a very regrettable way. It was not a sound tech who died, but a 19-year-old attendee, Tolga Toksoz.
Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli has been quoted saying that he believed Toksoz was involved in a “game” to see who could take the most pills.
“Look, shocking isn’t the word; idiotic is the word. These people were gambling with their life; it’s absolute stupidity, really there are no words for it. A 19 year-old has lost his life – what a tragedy, what a waste.”
Toksoz was taken to the Concord Hospital in Sydney where he was pronounced dead.
More than 16,000 people were in attendance at the event, and at least 40 individuals were arrested for supplying or possessing drugs – one individual was found to be carrying 130 pills and another carrying 98.
The Sydney Morning Herald goes on to state that “five other people were taken to hospital suffering suspected overdoses, including a 20-year-old man who remains in a critical condition at Westmead Hospital. In a horrifying close call, one attendee accidentally swallowed a bag of pills he was trying to hide in his mouth and was rushed to hospital after informing police what had happened. He was released on Sunday.”
This marks the fifth death at an “A State Of Trance” festival in the last 2 years.
The festival has attracted controversy in the past with three festival attendees, aged 18 to 26, dying after attending Jakarta’s A State of Trance festival last year. And one person died during an A State of Trance event that was part of the Future Music Festival Asia event in Malaysia last year.
Police are still awaiting an official toxicology report of Toksoz.