Avicii’s concert at Boston’s TD Garden on Wednesday, was, according to one teenage patron, “the best and the worst time ever.” The best time, well obviously because it was a show featuring only one of the most popular Electronic Dance Music (EDM) DJs of recent times. As for being the worst time ever, that may have something to do with the more than 80 concertgoers who were treated for dehydration, drug overdoses, and alcohol poisoning.
Nearly as soon as the concert began at around 8 p.m. last night, the ambulances began to show up. According to Boston EMS Deputy Superintendent Michael Bosse, the patients were being brought in for “mostly heat and alcohol-related symptoms,” but there was also “a lot of underage drinking” and “some illicit drugs,” although he couldn’t clarify what in particular, The Boston Globe reported.
Medical emergency teams declared a “Phase 2 MCI,” a code representing over 30 individuals needing to be taken to the hospital. Of those treated, 50 were able to be attended to on site, but a further 36 patients needed to be transported to the local hospital, The Globe reported.
Despite the large amount of alcohol consumption and use of drugs, many of the patients suffered from conditions caused by the hot, cramped conditions. “You couldn’t breathe if you were on the floor,” explained 19-year-old concert goer Mike Santostefano to The Globe. In the words of Santostefano, “a lot of people couldn’t handle themselves.” The teen explained how a large number of those who didn’t normally do drugs, did so at the show last night. “You get really hot in there and you just pass out. You couldn’t breathe. It was claustrophobic. People get dehydrated, ” Roison Saratonion, 18, who had left the concert early, told The Globe.
Unfortunately, this combination of alcohol and drug abuse has become a recurring problem at EDM concerts. “We’ve seen this type of behavior, alcohol, abuse of other drugs before,” Boston Police Superintendent in Chief William G. Gross told The Globe. In May, 29 people were reported to be hospitalized due to similar health conditions at an Avicii concert in Toronto, Canada, The Star reported. According to those in attendance at the Toronto show, many concertgoers were getting sick before the Swedish performer even graced the stage. In August of last year, three drug overdoses occurred at DJ Zedd’s show at the House of Blues in Boston. Unfortunately, a 19-year-old-woman did die of a suspected “Molly” overdose at this concert.
Still, despite the recent number of hospital admissions and even deaths that have occurred at or during EDM concerts, some young concertgoers believe that everything is being blown out of proportion. “I bet there were rock and roll concerts in the ’70s that were more out of hand than this,” Matt Mogavero, 18, told The Globe. Others left early because the scene was “pretty young” and filled with people “that can’t just come to a concert like this and enjoy the music for what it is,” Steve Watkins, 28, told The Globe.