Music Festival Fatalities in the U.S.

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Music Festival Deaths

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Posted By DAM Firm | May 10 2024 | Wrongful Death

Every year, hundreds of music festivals take place across the United States, drawing in excited concertgoers from around the country. Unfortunately, many factors can make these musical events dangerous for attendees. For example, many festivals take place in the summer, where extreme temperatures can exacerbate drug effects such as dehydration. Many attendees are also very young, which can lead to poor choices involving drugs. Others, still, are extreme outliers, such as the Route 91 Harvest shooting, which was the sole fault of the shooter. In cases where the festival organizer failed to protect attendees or get them adequate medical care, wrongful death lawsuits have been filed.

Keep reading to learn all about these tragic incidents, the lives lost, and ultimately who was responsible. The data below was sourced from news articles.

Chart: Music Festival Deaths in the U.S. (1996 – 2024)

Age of Victims - Music Festival Deaths

How People Die at Music Festivals

Causes of Death

Cause of Death Incidents
Gunshot 62
Drug Overdose 43
Hit by Vehicle 19
Compression Asphyxia 10
Unknown 7
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 5
Heart Condition 4
Vehicle Accident 3
Overheated/Dehydration 3
Homicide 3
Hyperthermia 3
Fall 2
Suicide 2
Drowning 2
Aneurysm 1
Crushed 1
Struck by Lightning 1
Bacterial Meningitis 1
Cardiac Arrest 1
Seizure 1
Spinal Injury 1

 

Fatalities Per Music Festival

Festival # Fatalities
Route 91 Harvest 60
Bonnaroo 13
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) 11
Astroworld 10
Burning Man 10
Faster Horses 7
Coachella 6
Hard Summer 5
SXSW 5
Electric Forest 4
Lightning in a Bottle 4
Beyond Wonderland 3
Electric Zoo 3
Woodstock ’99 3
Lollapalooza 2
Lost Lands 2
Identity Festival 2
Made in America 2
Ozzfest 2
Nocturnal Wonderland 2
Austin City Limits 1
BottleRock 1
Once Upon a Time in L.A. 1
Rolling Loud 1
Summerfest 1
T-Bois Blues Festival 1
UCSD Sun God Fest 1
Ultra Music Festival 1
Okeechobee 1
Knotfest 1
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 1
World Music Festival 1
Mendocino Magic 1
Reggae Rising 1
All Good Music Festival 1
Camp Bisco 1
CMA Music Festival 1
Paradiso Festival 1
Country Fest 1

What Happened at Route 91 Harvest Festival?

One outlier in the data is the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in 2017. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history, resulting in 60 fatalities and over 800 injuries. In just ten minutes, the gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He fired more than 1,000 rounds and then took his own life before law enforcement could apprehend him.

The Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas shooting prompted a renewed national dialogue on gun control legislation, leading to calls for stricter firearm regulations and measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future. It also spurred initiatives to improve mental health support services and emergency response procedures, emphasizing the importance of addressing the root causes of violence and promoting community safety.

Explore the Data: All Music Festival Deaths

Use the drop-down to select a specific music festival.

music festival fatalities

Full List of Music Festival Fatalities

Click on a festival below to learn about its fatal incidents.

All Good Music Festival Death

Festival Location: Masontown, West Virginia

Date: 7/17/2011
Victim: Nicole Miller, 20
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A man driving a pickup truck allegedly lost control and ran over a tent of people, injuring some and killing Nicole.

Astroworld Deaths

A fatal incident occurred at the Astroworld festival on November 5, 2021, in Houston, Texas. During rapper Travis Scott’s performance, a crowd surge caused chaos, resulting in multiple injuries and the deaths of ten concertgoers, ranging in age from 9 to 27. According to reports, attendees were crushed against barriers and each other as the crowd surged toward the stage. The incident prompted investigations into crowd control measures, security protocols, and the overall safety preparedness of the event.

How Many Deaths Occured at Astroworld?

Ten people died at Astroworld in 2021. The cause of death of all ten victims was compression asphyxia.

Astroworld Victims

  • Axel Acosta Avila, 21
  • Danish Baig, 27
  • Ezra Blount, 9
  • John Hilgert, 14
  • Jacob Jurinek, 20
  • Franco Patino, 21
  • Rodolfo Peña, 23
  • Brianna Rodriguez, 16
  • Madison Dubiski, 23
  • Bharti Shahani, 22

Astroworld Lawsuit

Following the 2021 Astroworld tragedy, thousands of lawsuits were filed by the injured victims and the families of the deceased. Among the defendants were Live Nation, Travis Scott, Drake, Apple, Epic Records, Front Gate Ticketing Solutions, and Cactus Jack Enterprises. 

On June 29, 2023, a Harris County grand jury failed to indict Travis Scott on any criminal charges connected to the concert, instead finding that “no single individual was criminally responsible” for the deaths or injuries.

As of May 2024, nine out of ten wrongful death lawsuits have been settled, including one that was scheduled to go to trial. Terms of the settlements are confidential.

Austin City Limits Death

Festival Location: Austin, Texas

Date: 10/5/2014
Victim: Jessica Hunter, 21
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Jessica took a tainted form of Ecstasy that caused symptoms of heavy sweating, a gray complexion, and flailing limbs. She was taken to the hospital where her condition deteriorated and she died.

Beyond Wonderland Deaths

Festival Location: San Bernardino, California

Date: 6/17/2023
Victim: Brandy Escamilla, 29
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Incident: A gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing Brandy Escamilla and her fiancé Josilyn Ruiz. The gunman, who was allegedly on hallucinogenic mushrooms and “believed the world was ending,” was shot down by police officers but survived. The victims’ families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Live Nation, citing that they failed to enforce their gun policy. The shooter is facing two first-degree murder charges and three first-degree assault charges, with the trial set to begin on August 7, 2024.

Date: 6/17/2023
Victim: Josilyn Ruiz, 26
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Incident: A gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing Brandy Escamilla and her fiancé Josilyn Ruiz. The gunman, who was allegedly on hallucinogenic mushrooms and “believed the world was ending,” was shot down by police officers but survived. The victims’ families filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Live Nation, citing that they failed to enforce their gun policy. The shooter is facing two first-degree murder charges and three first-degree assault charges, with the trial set to begin on August 7, 2024.

Date: 3/20/2015
Victim: John Hoang Dinh, 22
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: John took ecstasy and went into cardiac arrest after suffering a possible seizure. The official cause of death was acute toxicity from MDMA.

Bonnaroo Deaths

Festival Location: Manchester, Tennessee

Date: 6/19/2022
Victim: Lee Ann Sizemore, 29
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Lee Ann was found unresponsive by a friend in her tent. The autopsy revealed a combination of cocaine, alcohol, and antidepressants.

Date: 6/15/2019
Victim: Ryan Dunleavy, 26
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The cause of death was a combination of cocaine and marijuana. 

Date: 6/8/2018
Victim: Michael Donivan Craddock Jr., 32
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: Michael was found unresponsive in his car with the heat running.

Date: June 2016
Victim: Casey J. Young, 22
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Casey was hit by a car after he ran into the road. Some sources say he was acting erratically, but no drugs or alcohol were found in his system.

Date: 6/13/2015
Victim: Unknown Man, 47
Cause of Death: Heart Condition
Incident: A man died after suffering a heart attack. He collapsed in the festival’s main area and was taken to a local hospital where they attempted to revive him. However, according to media reports, the man had a pre-existing heart condition and the death was ruled natural causes.

Date: 6/12/2013
Victim: Brandon Wilson, 28
Cause of Death: Vehicle Accident
Incident: A big rig failed to yield to traffic and hit numerous vehicles, causing fires and explosions. The driver was cited.

Date: 6/12/2013
Victim: Deja Morris, 25
Cause of Death: Vehicle Accident
Incident:  A big rig failed to yield to traffic and hit numerous vehicles, causing fires and explosions. The driver was cited.

Date: 6/12/2011
Victim: Christopher Yoder, 24
Cause of Death: Hyperthermia
Incident: Christopher died of hyperthermia after being airlifted to a hospital.

Date: 6/9/2011
Victim: Beth Myers, 32
Cause of Death: Overheated/Dehydration
Incident: Beth was found unresponsive in her tent. The cause of death was assumed to be heat exhaustion. 

Date: 6/13/2010
Victim: David Matthew Sloan, 29
Cause of Death: Overheated/Dehydration
Incident: David collapsed at the festival and was taken to the hospital where he died.

Date: June 2006
Victim: Joshua Overall, 21
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Joshua was hit by a tour bus transporting bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs.

Date: 6/13/2004
Victim: Unknown Woman from Kentucky, 22
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Temperatures reached 100 degrees, and the toxicology report showed both cocaine and marijuana in her system.

Date: 6/13/2004
Victim: Unknown Man from Michigan, 20
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Temperatures reached 100 degrees, and the toxicology report showed both cocaine and marijuana in his system.

BottleRock Death

Festival Location: Napa Valley, New York

Date: May 2016
Victim: Mateo Zavaleta Zarate, 36
Cause of Death: Crushed
Incident: A large aluminum support beam fell on Mateo’s back and pinned him down while he was dismantling a VIP tent as part of the work crew.

Burning Man Deaths

Festival Location: Black Rock Desert, Nevada

While not technically a music festival, Burning Man hosts large gatherings and shows, so the data was included

Date: 9/1/2023
Victim: Leon Reece, 32
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Leon was found unresponsive at the festival.

Date: 8/29/2019
Victim: Shane Billingham, 33
Cause of Death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Incident: Shane was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the festival grounds. While there was a small amount of controlled substances in his system, the cause of death was ultimately carbon monoxide poisoning.

Date: 9/3/2017
Victim: Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41
Cause of Death: Suicide
Incident: Aaron died by jumping into a 40-foot bonfire. While it can’t be confirmed whether or not this was a suicide attempt, that’s what is assumed. Security guards tried to run after him and save him but were unable to stop him in time.

Date: 8/28/2014
Victim: Alicia Louise Cipicchio, 29
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Alicia was struck and killed by a bus that was transporting festivalgoers around the grounds.

Date: 9/5/2011
Victim: Erika “the Red” Kupfersberger
Cause of Death: Aneurysm
Incident: Erika died from an apparent aneurysm.

Date: August 2007
Victim: Jermaine “Jerm” Barley
Cause of Death: Suicide
Incident: Jermaine hung himself in a tent at the festival.

Date: 9/5/2006
Victim: Adam Goldstone, 37
Cause of Death: Heart Condition
Incident: Adam was found collapsed in the shower of his RV. His dad reports that Adam had a pre-existing heart condition.

Date: Sept 2005
Victim: Samuel Thomas Rich, 29
Cause of Death: Heart Condition
Incident: An autopsy revealed two blocked arteries.

Date: 8/30/2003
Victim: Katherine Lampman, 21
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Katherine jumped off a moving art car but accidentally fell underneath and was run over.

Date: 1996
Victim: Michael Furey, 37
Cause of Death: Vehicle Accident
Incident: Michael was allegedly a friend of the founders. Note that some articles report his last name as Hefflin. Michael was recklessly riding his motorcycle by driving circles around a van and it hit him.

Camp Bisco Death

Festival Location: Mariaville, New York

Date: 5/6/2016
Victim: Heather Bynum, 24
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Heather suffered a seizure after taking a mix of drugs and alcohol at the 2012 festival and suffered permanent brain damage. She eventually passed away in 2016. Her mother sued Camp Bisco over a lack of prompt emergency services.

Coachella Deaths

Festival Location: Coachella, California

Date: 4/6/2019
Victim: Christopher Griffin, 49
Cause of Death: Fall
Incident: Christopher was an employee who was setting up the festival when he fell from some scaffolding near the stage. California’s Division of OSHA issued a citation to Kleege Industries. According to the citation, Kleege faced penalties of $1,285 for workplace safety violations.

Date: 4/15/2016
Victim: Michaela Freeland, 18
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Michaela applied to work as a security guard at the festival so she could attend. She was hit by a car crossing the road on her way into to the festival.

Date: 4/11/2015
Victim: Jannik Anderson, 23
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Jannik was hit by a train on the tracks. It is believed the combination of drugs and alcohol in his system and the heat/dehydration could have made him delusional.

Date: 4/13/14
Victim: Kimchi Truong, 24
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Kimchi collapsed at the festival and was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Date: 2013
Victim: Unknown Man
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A security guard was struck by a car on his way into the festival.

Date: 2008
Victim: Benjamin Muller
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Reports are unsure whether drugs or the extreme heat were the cause.

CMA Music Festival Death

Festival Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Date: 6/11/2010
Victim: Frederick Stapleton, 33
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: A security guard was found deceased in a medical tent at the festival. It appeared to be from natural causes, or possibly a pre-existing condition.

Country Fest Death

Festival Location: Chippewa County, Wisconsin

Date: 6/23/2007
Victim: Tara Grant, 21
Cause of Death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Incident: Electric generator fumes from a neighboring campsite seeped into Tara’s tent which did not have any ventilation at the time.

EDC Deaths

Festival Location: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, and other cities

Date: 6/20/2016
Victim: Kenani Kaimuloa, 20
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Kenani began convulsing at a bus stop near the event. Heavy traffic made it difficult to get a fast emergency response, and temperatures were in the hundreds. She ultimately died from MDMA and cocaine intoxication in combination with the heat.

Date: 6/21/2015
Victim: Nicholas Austin Tom, 24
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Nicholas died of MDMA intoxication. A lawsuit was filed against Live Nation and the event organizer Insomniac.

Date: 6/21/2014
Victim: Montgomery Tsang, 24
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The official cause of death was acute MDMA toxicity.

Date: 6/21/2014
Victim: Anthony Anaya, 25
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Anthony was found unresponsive in his hotel room, with the official cause of death being alcohol, ecstasy, and cocaine intoxication.

Date: 6/11/2012
Victim: Olivier Hennessy, 31
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Oliver was struck and killed by a truck while staggering drunk and/or high.

Date: 6/10/2012
Victim: Emily McCaughan, 22
Cause of Death: Fall
Incident: It is believed that Emily fell or jumped out of her window on the 27th floor due to hallucinations and paranoia caused by drugs.

Date: 6/19/2011
Victim: Kyle Haigis, 22
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Kyle attended EDC at the Dallas, Texas location. He jumped out of a car and was struck by a semi-truck while hallucinating on the drug known as Foxy.

Date: 6/18/2011
Victim: Andrew Graf, 19
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Andrew attended EDC at the Dallas, Texas location. His official cause of death was amphetamine toxicity.

Date: 6/29/2010
Victim: Sasha Rodriguez, 15
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Sasha was underage and snuck into the festival, where she ultimately died of ecstasy intoxication. This prompted the festival to move to Las Vegas which has more of a party culture.

Date: 6/23/2010
Victim: Jesse Morales, 22
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Jesse attended EDC at the Dallas, Texas location. He collapsed and was taken to the emergency room with a body temperature of 108 degrees. The medical examiner concluded that the cause of death was amphetamine toxicity.

Date: 2007
Victim: Michael Morse, 34
Cause of Death: Overheated/Dehydration
Incident: Michael began convulsing while waiting in the taxi line to leave the festival. The official cause of death was acute MDMA and TFMPP toxicity, with the contributing factor of heat exposure.

Electric Forest Deaths

Festival Location: Rothbury, Michigan

Date: 6/27/2016
Victim: Michael John Stephenson, 22
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The autopsy revealed cocaine, meth, and ketamine toxicity

Date: 6/29/2014
Victim: Brian Alan Brockette, 20
Cause of DeathDrug Overdose
Incident: The official cause of death was ecstasy intoxication.

Date: 6/27/2013
Victim: Joseph Bud Norris, 21
Cause of DeathDrug Overdose
Incident: Joseph died from a heroin overdose while working at the festival.

Date: 6/29/2012
Victim: Michael Benway, 37
Cause of DeathDrug Overdose
Incident: Michael was found unresponsive at his campsite. He suffered heart failure after an apparent overdose.

Electric Zoo Deaths

Festival Location: New York City, NY

Date: 9/3/2018
Victim: Katherine Schlegel, 20
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Katherine’s boyfriend attended the festival with Katherine and purchased a large amount of MDMA. After Katherine died of an overdose, he and the dealer were charged with a federal drug charge.

Date: 8/31/2013
Victim: Jeffrey Russ, 23
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Jeffrey had a seizure after taking two ecstasy pills. The person who sold him the drugs was charged with conspiring to sell drugs, but reached a plea deal and avoided jail time.

Date: 8/31/2013
Victim: Olivia Rotondo, 20
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Olivia had a seizure after taking ecstasy pills and went into cardiac arrest.

Faster Horses Deaths

Festival Location: Brooklyn, Michigan.

Date: 7/25/2022
Victim: Ty A. Fleming, 48
Cause of Death: Heart Condition
Incident: Ty was discovered unresponsive in his camper by his wife. The autopsy revealed a blocked artery.

Date: 7/17/2021
Victim: Dawson Brown, 20
Cause of Death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Incident: Three friends were camping at the festival together and their generator was set up too close to the camper. A judge ruled that the festival and Live Nation were not responsible.

Date: 7/17/2021
Victim: Kole Sova, 19
Cause of Death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Incident: Three friends were camping at the festival together and their generator was set up too close to the camper. A judge ruled that the festival and Live Nation were not responsible.

Date: 7/17/2021
Victim: Richie Mays Jr, 20
Cause of Death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Incident: Three friends were camping at the festival together and their generator was set up too close to the camper. A judge ruled that the festival and Live Nation were not responsible.

Date: 7/17/2021
Victim: Melissa Havens, 30
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The cause of death was determined to be complications from obesity combined with drugs/alcohol.

Date: 7/23/2018
Victim: Makayla Hostetler, 19
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Mikayla was walking along the shoulder of the road when she was struck by a car. The driver was found to be under the legal BAC limit and was not driving recklessly, so no charges were filed. The victim’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that the driver veered into the shoulder.

Date: 7/18/2015
Victim: Unknown Woman, 68
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Hydrocodone overdose

Hard Summer Deaths

Festival Location: Inglewood, California

Date: 8/1/2016
Victim: Roxanne Ngo, 22
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The official cause of death was ecstasy intoxication.

Date: 7/31/2016
Victim: Alyssa Dominguez, 21
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The official cause of death was ecstasy intoxication.

Date: 7/31/2016
Victim: Derek Lee, 22
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The official cause of death was ecstasy intoxication.

Date: August 2015
Victim: Katie Dix, 19
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Katie died of ecstasy intoxication. Her family filed a lawsuit against Live Nation, alleging that they had a duty of care to get their daughter adequate medical care during an emergency. After some back and forth, it was ultimately determined that Live Nation does owe their concertgoers a duty of care.

Date: 2014
Victim: Emily Tran, 19
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Emily Tran died of ecstasy intoxication. Her family filed a lawsuit against Live Nation alleging that they neglected to “adequately transport” Emily to the first-aid center and then to a hospital.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Death

Festival Location: San Francisco, California

Date: 10/3/2015
Victim: Audrey Carey, 23
Cause of Death: Homicide
Incident: Three transient people befriended Audrey, robbed her, and killed her. They also killed another person on a hiking trail a few days later. The three received 15, 50, and 100 years in prison.

Identity Festival Deaths

Festival Location: Mansfield, Massachusetts

Date: July 2012
Victim: Connor Brandon, 19
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: He was found deceased on Friday morning with drugs and alcohol found in his system.

Date: July 2012
Victim: Dominic Impelizzieri, 27
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The cause of death was the alcohol and drugs found in his system. He passed away the next morning at the hospital.

Knotfest Death

Festival Location: Tinley Park, Illinois

Date: 8/11/2019
Victim: Richard Valadez, 62
Cause of Death: Seizure
Incident: Richard sustained multiple injuries in the mosh pit before falling onto the grass and seizing. 

Lightning in a Bottle Deaths

Festival Location: Bakersfield, California

Date: 5/29/2022
Victim: Unknown
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: A festivalgoer was found dead at their campsite from an apparent overdose.

Date: 5/28/2022
Victim: Unknown
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: A festivalgoer was transported to the hospital while having an “acute medical emergency” and died there.

Date: 5/28/2017
Victim: Tyler Schripsema, 23
Cause of Death: Drowning
Incident: Tyler sustained a spinal column injury while swimming in the lake and died at the hospital.

Date: 5/27/2017
Victim: Baylee Gatlin, 20
Cause of Death: Hyperthermia
Incident: The official cause of death was hyperthermia, dehydration, and multiple organ failure. Multiple drugs are believed to have been ingested, with LSD and methamphetamine found on the scene. Baylee Gatlin’s family claims in a lawsuit against the festival promoter that she was not given proper medical attention at the festival.

Lollapalooza Deaths

Festival Location: Chicago, Illinois

Date: August 2019
Victim: Benjamin Seto, 24
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: Benjamin was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he died. His cause of death has not been released.

Date:  August 2018
Victim: Evan Kitzmiller, 16
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Evan was found unresponsive and later died at the hospital. His official cause of death was ecstasy intoxication.

Lost Lands Deaths

Festival Location: Thornville, Ohio festival

Date: 9/16/2018
Victim: Mario Symborski, 32
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The official toxicology report has not been released, however, there were many reports of fentanyl-laced cocaine at the festival.

Date: 9/15/2018
Victim: Ger Vang, 24
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: The official toxicology report has not been released, however, there were many reports of fentanyl-laced cocaine at the festival.

Made in America Death

Festival Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date: 9/7/2015
Victim: Amanda Digirolomo, 25
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A taxi cab hit multiple people in Center City Philadelphia. Amanda died at the scene.

Date: 9/7/2015
Victim: Bryan Botti, 25
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A taxi cab hit multiple people in Center City Philadelphia. Bryan was brought to the hospital where he died.

Mendocino Magic Death

Festival Location: Mendocino, California

Date: June 2018
Victim: Joseph Piszczek, 35
Cause of Death: ​​Drowning
Incident: Joseph’s girlfriend last saw him sitting on a dock while taking a break from swimming in a lake. His body was found days later in the lake. Foul play was not suspected.

Nocturnal Wonderland Deaths

Festival Location: San Bernardino, California

Date: September, 2022
Victim: Eli Galispi Rodriguez, 27
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Eli died from a fentanyl overdose. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Live Nation and San Bernardino County.

Date: September, 2022
Victim: Unknown
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: Unknown

Okeechobee Festival Death

Festival Location: Okeechobee, Florida

Date: 3/4/2013
Victim: Steven Nguyen, 26
Cause of Death: Drowning
Incident: Steven was found in a canal at the festival. He had LSD in his system.

Once Upon a Time in LA Death

Festival Location: Los Angeles, California

Date: 12/19/2021
Victim: Drakeo the Ruler (Darrell Caldwell), 28
Cause of Death: Homicide
Incident: Drakeo was a rapper who was scheduled to perform, but he was attacked by a group of people backstage and stabbed in the neck. As of January 2023, a Los Angeles judge rejected Live Nation’s attempt to end the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s family. The family alleges that a lack of security led to their son’s murder.

Ozzfest Deaths

Festival Location: Holmdel, New Jersey

Date: 8/17/2007
Victim: Raymond Guarino, 26
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Raymond went into cardiac arrest and later died at the hospital. It is believed his death was caused by a combination of cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol.

Date: 8/17/2007
Victim: Patrick Norris, 24
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Patrick went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at the hospital. It is believed his death was caused by a combination of cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol.

Paradiso Festival Death

Festival Location: Grant County, Washington

Date: 7/6/2013
Victim: Patrick D. Witkowski, 21
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Patrick was taken to the hospital after suffering complications from MDMA. He died the next day.

Reggae Rising

Festival Location: Humboldt County, California

Date: 8/3/2009
Victim: Molly Donovan, 21
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: Molly was found dead at her campsite.

Rolling Loud Death

Festival Location: Miami, Florida

Date: 7/22/2023
Victim: Jordan Petrocchi, 23
Cause of Death: Unknown
Incident: It’s assumed that Jordan died of some combination of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and drugs.

Route 91 Harvest Festival Deaths

The mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Las Vegas Festival Shooting Victims

  • Adrian Murfitt, 35
  • Andrea Castilla, 28
  • Angela Gomez, 20
  • Austin Davis, 29
  • Austin Meyer, 24
  • Bailey Schweitzer, 20
  • Brennan Stewart, 30
  • Brett Schwanbeck, 61
  • Brian Fraser, 39
  • Calla-Marie Medig, 28
  • Cameron Robinson, 28
  • Candice Bowers, 40
  • Carly Kreibaum, 33
  • Carrie Barnette, 34
  • Carrie Parsons, 31
  • Charleston Hartfield, 34
  • Chris Hazencomb, 44
  • Christiana Duarte, 22
  • Christopher Roybal, 28
  • Dana Gardner, 52
  • Denise Burditus, 50
  • Denise Cohen, 58
  • Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56
  • Dorene Anderson, 49
  • Erick Silva, 21
  • Hannah Ahlers, 34
  • Heather Alvarado, 35
  • Jack Beaton, 54
  • James “Sonny” Melton, 29
  • Jennifer Irvine, 42
  • Jennifer Parks, 36
  • Jessica Klymchuk, 34
  • John Phippen, 56
  • Jordan McIldoon, 23
  • Jordyn Rivera, 21
  • Kelsey Meadows, 28
  • Keri Galvan, 31
  • Kimberly Gervais, 57
  • Kurt Von Tillow, 55
  • Laura Shipp, 50
  • Lisa Patterson, 46
  • Lisa Romero-Muniz, 48
  • Melissa Ramirez, 26
  • Michelle Vo, 32
  • Neysa Tonks, 46
  • Patricia “Pati” Mestas, 67
  • Quinton Robbins, 20
  • Rachael Parker, 33
  • Rhonda LeRocque, 42
  • Rocio Guillen-Rocha, 40
  • Samanta Arjune, 49
  • Sandra Casey, 34
  • Stacee Etcheber, 50
  • Steve Berger, 44
  • Susan Smith, 53
  • Tara Roe Smith, 34
  • Teresa “Nicol” Kimura, 38
  • Thomas Day Jr., 54
  • Victor Link, 55
  • William “Bill” Wolfe Jr., 42

Route 91 Harvest Festival Lawsuit

In 2019, MGM Resorts settled for $800 million to be split between the victims’ families. They did not admit fault. This was the conclusion of two years of negotiations.

Summerfest Death

Festival Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Date: 2/28/2013
Victim: Joseph Hetzel, 49
Cause of Death: Homicide
Incident: In 1996, 5 men beat up Joseph at the festival. He died 16 years later from the injuries.

SXSW Deaths

Festival Location: Austin, Texas 

Date: 3/12/2024
Victim: Cody Jordan, 26
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A drunk driver was evading police when he hit 2 pedestrians with his car.

Date: 3/13/2014
Victim: DeAndre Tatum, 18
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A drunk driver plowed their car through a crowd of people. Four died, and many more were injured.

Date: 3/13/2014
Victim: Jamie West, 27
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A drunk driver plowed their car through a crowd of people. Four died, and many more were injured.

Date: 3/13/2014
Victim: Sandy Thuy Le, 26
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A drunk driver plowed their car through a crowd of people. Four died, and many more were injured.

Date: 3/13/2014
Victim: Steven Craenmehr, 35
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: A drunk driver plowed their car through a crowd of people. Four died, and many more were injured.

T-Bois Blues Festival Death

Festival Location: Larose, Louisiana

Date: 3/19/2016
Victim: Jacqui Stavis, 28
Cause of Death: Struck by Lightning
Incident: Lightning struck the tent where Jacqui was taking shelter from a storm.

UCSD Sun God Fest Death

Festival Location: San Diego, California

Date: 5/17/2013
Victim: Ricardo “Ricky” Ambriz, 20
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Ricky was found unresponsive in his room after the festival. He overdosed on 5-APB, a recreational drug commonly referred to as “benzofury.”

Ultra Music Festival Death

Festival Location: Miami, Florida

Date: 3/25/2013
Victim: Anthony Cassano, 20
Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Incident: Anthony began showing signs of “erratic behavior” and paramedics were called. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital from multiple organ failure, with the official cause of death being acute methylone toxicity.

Woodstock ’99 Deaths

Festival Location: Rome, New York

Date: July 1999
Victim: David DeRosia, 24
Cause of Death: Hyperthermia
Incident: David collapsed in a mosh pit. His cause of death was ruled to be hyperthermia linked to heat stroke, with possible pre-existing conditions.

Date: July 1999
Victim: Tara Weaver, 28
Cause of Death: Hit by Vehicle
Incident: Two cars hit Tara as she was leaving the concert.

Date: July 1999
Victim: Unknown Man, 44
Cause of Death: Cardiac Arrest
Incident: A man went into cardiac arrest at his campsite. 

World Music Festival Death

Festival Location: Boonville, California

Date: June 2008
Victim: Unknown Man, 23
Cause of Death: Bacterial Meningitis
Incident: It is assumed that this man contracted meningitis at the festival, which is spread by saliva.

Takeaways

Each of these music festival fatalities represents a heartbreaking loss. While we cannot alter the past, we can gain insights from the data to better understand the circumstances surrounding these incidents: how, where, and why they happened. Doing so can lead to positive changes and prevention of future tragedies. Some of these instances have sparked revisions in festival policies, regulations, and local laws. These incidents serve as poignant reminders of the need to ensure the safety and well-being of festival attendees.

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