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Paramedic Practice >> Pin 3 of 1967

Mortality at Music Festivals

ABSTRACT

Introduction:Fatalities at music festivals are seldom reported in the academic literature, making it difficult to understand the full scope of the issue. This gap in our knowledge makes it challenging to develop strategies that might reduce the mortality burden. It is hypothesized that the number of fatalities is rising. Building on earlier research, two further years of data on mortality at music festivals was analyzed.Methods:Synthesis of grey/academic literature.Results:The grey literature for 2016-2017 documented a total of 201 deaths, including both traumatic (105; 52%) and non-traumatic (96; 48%) causes. Deaths resulted from acts of terror (n = 60), trampling (n = 13), motor-vehicle-related (n = 10), thermal injury (n = 6), shootings (n = 5), falls (n = 4), structural collapses (n = 3), miscellaneous trauma (n = 2), and assaults (n = 2). Non-traumatic deaths included overdoses/poisonings (n = 41), miscellaneous causes (n = 36), unknown/not reported (n = 18), and natural causes (n = 1). The majority of non-trauma-related deaths were related to overdose (44%). No academic literature documented fatalities that occurred while attending a music festival during 2016 or 2017.Discussion:Reports of fatalities at music festivals are increasingly common. However, the data for this manuscript were drawn primarily from media reports, a data source that is problematic. Currently no rigorous reporting system for fatalities exists. In the context of safety planning for mass gatherings, a standardized method of reporting fatalities would inform future planning and safety measures for festival attendees. The hypothesis that mortality rate reporting increased was substantiated. However, the proliferation of music festivals, the increase in attendance at these events, and the overall increase in internet usage may have influenced this outcome.