While music festivals entertain tens of thousands of attendees at each event, many aspects of live music come with dangerous risks. Festivals, whether we like it or not, become hubs for alcohol and drug use, and the debilitating heat of the summer festival season exacerbates everything from dehydration to dancing. The Gorge Amphitheatre venue in George, Washington is notorious for its high temperatures, and several deaths have occurred at Gorge events such as Paradiso Festival.
This year, a young man named Beau Brooks died at Paradiso, following the death of Patrick Witkowski at Paradiso in 2013. Now, both of the young men’s mothers are coming together to plead for change to the Gorge Amphitheatre’s policies. Seattle and Western Washington news outlet Fox Q13 covered the story, interviewing the family and friends of the two deceased attendees and Washington Representative Matt Manweller. Manweller attempted to pass a bill that would have added a $1 charge to Gorge event tickets for improved medical and safety services, but the bill has failed to make it to a vote.
Manweller intends to pass another bill with regulation that would allocate a set amount of medical professionals per attendee numbers at each event at the Gorge. The report ended with a surprisingly knowledgeable commentary, with anchor David Rose citing DanceSafe test kits as an effective way to curb drug deaths. It remains to be seen what legislation affects the Gorge events, but the opinions of the area’s politicians and news reporters foreshadow intelligent policy regarding dance music events.
Watch the Fox Q13 report below: