By Scott T. Sterling
Large-scale EDM events continue to be a breeding ground for medical issues with the news that 23 attendees at Toronto’s Digital Dreams festival last weekend (June 28-29) required hospital attention, in large part due to drug- and alcohol-related issues.
“Out of the over 100 patients we treated at that location each day paramedics were able to stabilize about 75 patients at the scene and deemed 23 others as needing further hospital care. This included one patient in life threatening condition,” said EMS media liaison Kim McKinnon (via Billboard). “Because of the large amount of patients transported and based on their condition the patients were transported to several downtown hospitals. Once the patients are turned over to the emergency room staff we no longer track their progress so I can’t speak to their status after paramedics were no longer overseeing their care.”
Voted “Party of the Year” in 2013 at the 13th Annual Toronto Nightclub Awards, Digital Dreams 2014 drew more than 70,000 people with a bill that included Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, Flux Pavilion and Justice. The event is in its third year and is produced by Live Nation Canada’s EDM division Electronic Nation Canada at The Flats by Lake Ontario on the grounds of Ontario Place.
“The medical emergencies we treated at this event are preventable if attendees inform themselves of the dangers. I realize this may be obvious, but the consequences are serious,” McKinnon continued. “Overdosing, overconsuming alcohol and other substances and even mixing the two can lead to dangerous and even life threatening medical conditions that have to be treated by paramedics and emergency physicians. This behavior can also lead to behavior that can result in traumatic injuries like falls for example when people take risks they would not normally take. At Toronto EMS we see the effects of these risky choices too often.”
According to Toronto’s CTV News, all of those hospitalized were under the age of 25.