3 People Died At Hard Summer Over The Weekend
Two women and one man died over the weekend while attending the Hard Summer music festival at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, reports the L.A Times.
Two of the deaths occurred on Saturday, with the other taking place on Sunday, according to the San Bernardino Sun. A sheriff's spokesperson said that the causes of the deaths are still unknown, and that the extreme heat has not been ruled out as a possible cause. According to the Weather Channel, the temperature in Fontana hit a high of 97 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.
Sheriff's officials also said that more than 300 people were arrested at the event, and that most of those arrests were made on suspicions of public intoxication.
This is the first year that Hard Summer has taken place at the Auto Club Speedway; organizers were prompted to move to a new venue after two festival-goers died last year, when the festival was held at the Los Angeles County fairgrounds in Pomona. The parents of one of those deceased, 19-year-old Katie Dix, is suing the L.A. County Fair Association and event promoters Live Nation for what they claim is a failure to protect guests from illicit substances. Nearly 30 people were treated for drug-related issues at last year's festival. This, along with the two deaths, prompted the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to consider a ban on raves, but it was ultimately turned down.
Also, in 2013, a 21-year-old man from Rosemead died after reportedly taking ecstasy at Hard Summer when it was held at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in Los Angeles, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
This year's festival, which took place on both Saturday and Sunday, drew a crowd of approximately 146,000 fans in total. Hard, founded in 2007, has become a big name in the gamut of festival brand names. Aside from Hard Summer, organizers have also put on Hard Haunted Mansion and Hard Red Rocks in the past.
As noted by the Times, ecstasy can be dangerous for its tendency to raise the user's body temperature. This, paired with the high heat of the festival grounds, can lead to severe dehydration. Paradoxically, over-hydrating can also be a problem; users may overcompensate for their thirst by drinking too much water. This may cause sodium levels to plummet, which can trigger seizures that can prevent oxygen from going to the brain.