With live events all but gone during the pandemic, there have been hundreds if not thousands of illicitly organized, renegade events under the guise of keeping the underground alive. However, these events still pose a risk to the general public, if not because of COVID-19, then because of shoddy planning and unprofessional staff.
Case in point after more than 20 people were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning following a renegade event in an underground bunker in Norway. 25 people in total were admitted, and five were critical and fighting for their life.
Officers discovered the event when a patrol just happened across some young people stumbling and incoherent. According to one attendee, air quality at the event was poor and they went outside multiple times to get some fresh air. The Guardian reports that two diesel generators were used to power the event in the small, enclosed space and were likely the source of the poisoned air.
“We could have ended up with permanent injuries,” a 20-year-old woman who attended the rave told the Norwegian state broadcaster NRK from hospital. “A doctor called it a collective suicide attempt. It’s totally sick even to think about it.”
Guardian continues, “An Oslo police inspector, Emil Lorch-Falch, told the broadcaster that a single, 1 sq metre opening was the only way into and out of the 500 sq m bunker, which was buried about 70 metres underground in the capital’s St Hanshaugen area.”
Since carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, it’s extremely dangerous and even more so in enclosed spaces with little ventilation and only one way in or out. The whole event was a recipe for disaster.
The absence of live events from our lives clearly affects not only those whose livelihoods have been interrupted, but also those who depend on the events as a form of release. It’s not uncommon to hear people refer to going to events as “going to church.” But it’s imperative that we sit and wait while governments decree that these events are safe to throw again — the proliferation of these renegade parties only instills less faith in our community and, in the most severe of possibilities, could end fatal.