Molly Mires Paradiso Fest
The 21-year-old who died was one of seven concertgoers hospitalized from the 18-and-over event, which attracted 25,000 per day.
The drug in question is often referred to as “Molly,” a mixture of Ecstacy and other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, bath salts or heroin frequently sold at raves.
“They don’t even know what they’re taking,” said Quincy Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Michele Wurl. “They take a hit and 30 to 45 minutes later they take a second. So they get them maxing out one after another. … We’re not talking about too much drinking or smoking a little marijuana.
“We deal with the Gorge all summer long. What we’re seeing this year is much higher acuity – more severe – in the drug use,” Wurl added.
Another 70 other concertgoers were treated for various illnesses, including from alcohol and drugs, and released.
Sheriff’s deputies made 23 arrests on various charges, which is consistent with events at the amphitheatre, according to authorities.
Co-promoters USC Events and Live Nation expressed dismay over the situation.
“We wish to express our deep concern about the numerous reports regarding a 21-year-old man who died at Central Washington Hospital over the weekend. We are working with law enforcement and venue officials to investigate these reports. We extend our sympathy to anyone affected by these events,” the companies said.
“Live Nation and USC Events take the security and health of all festival attendees very seriously. We are committed to bringing people together to experience music in a safe environment. For this event, we worked with the local Sheriff’s Department to have a sub-station located at the onsite campgrounds and other first responders to help ensure the venue had appropriate security including outside security personnel brought in to assist in event productions.
“Live Nation and USC Events in no way condone the use of illegal substances.”