Spending only one night in Dallas before the main event in Las Vegas this weekend, the Electric Daisy Carnival once again has experienced the shock and horror of death. With one attendee pronounced dead at a local area hospital and dozens of others requiring medical care, the one night stop for the electronic music festival has been marred in tragedy.
Officially pronounced dead at the Baylor University Medical Center, 19-year-old Andrew Graf is the first EDC attendee to perish since Sasha Rodriguez fainted at last year’s carnival in Los Angeles before being pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Although Graf’s death is still under investigation, reports have not been short in claiming the possibility of drug relation. However, understanding certain circumstances of Fair Park may shed similar light on the root causes of Graf’s demise.
The Saturday night carnival marked the second year for the Dallas leg of EDC. It also marked an extraordinary expanse in attendance when compared to the 2010 show. This year anywhere from 21,000 to 24,000 people attended the show, whereas last year topped out at 11,000.
Though Fair Park accommodates space for around 42,000, the two buildings which held the performances throughout the night have a combined maximum capacity of 10,254. By the end of the event, Dallas fire inspectors had deemed these two buildings overcrowded which led city officials to issue two citations for the infractions, stated a press release by the Dallas Public Information Office.
Despite the installation of additional air conditioning units for the event and free water-refill stations throughout the grounds, attendee statements of substantial overcrowding and immense heat have been reported by local news outlets including WFAA.com.
In numerous statements from Dallas authorities and emergency staff on site, the majority of medical cases from the carnival related to heat or hydration and consumption of alcohol or drugs. In total 30 attendees were transported from the fair grounds for these related causes.
Out of the approximated 21,000 attendees only two arrests were made, one for public intoxication and another for possession of the controlled substance MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy.
The founder and CEO of Insomniac (the carnival’s event promoter) Pasquale Rotella has issued the following statement to the Dallas Observer in regards to Graf’s death.
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.