Organizers, City Officials Vow To Keep Weekend’s Concert Safe

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Preparations are underway as the city prepares to host a two-day electronic dance music concert this weekend. It comes just days after two people died and 19 others were hospitalized during a similar concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Derek Valcourt has more on the safety measures being put in place.

The concern here is over possible drug overdoses; these kinds of concerts have their share of them. Organizers and city officials say they have a plan to prevent it.

Along with the thumping music and laser lights, club drugs like Molly or ecstasy have become a big part of the electronic dance music scene.

“They are meant to enhance your experience of the music, the lights, the atmosphere,” said one concert-goer.

But with those drugs come dangers.

Last week at Howard County’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, 19 were hospitalized and two people—including a University of Maryland student—died from suspected drug overdoses.

That follows two drug-related deaths at a New York concert last year and one death at a Vegas concert in July. This past June, dozens of dance concert-goers in Boston were also treated for overdoses. These incidents are now fueling concerns over the upcoming Moonrise Festival concerts this weekend at Pimlico.

“Over 32 paramedics will be on hand,” said Captain Roman Clark, Baltimore Fire Department.

City medics will complement the private medical staff the event promoter is required to have on hand.

“We are not just deploying all of our resources into this particular event. Our city will be fully staffed,” Clark said.

At Pimlico, crews are already setting up stages for some of the biggest names in electronic dance music.

Kascade headlines the event Saturday night. He’s already joined some of his colleagues in an anti-drug public service campaign.

“One thing you don’t want to play with is ecstasy,” the ad said.

Because too often a drug-fueled dance trip is ending with a trip to the hospital—or worse.

Drugs aren’t the only medical problem at these concerts. Sometimes even non-drug users dehydrate and overheat from hours of dancing. City officials say they’ll have special tents set up to treat those people.

Promoters of this weekend’s concert at Pimlico did not respond to our requests for comment.

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