MUSIC

Raver Dies At B.C. Music Festival

08/13/2012 05:23 EDT | Updated 10/13/2012 05:12 EDT
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A 23-year-old man from Sidney, B.C., is dead after a probable drug overdose at Shambhala, a giant annual rave and electronic music festival in the Kootenays.

The death is the first ever fatality to occur in the Shambhala Electronic Music Festival's 15-year history, which draws 10,000 people from all over the world every year to a ranch near Salmo, B.C. during the first week of August.

Organizers say the man collapsed at the festival food court at about 5:20 a.m. PT Sunday morning.

First responders found him unconscious and non-responsive but breathing, said festival executive producer Corrine Zawaduk in a written statement on Monday.

"He was quickly transported to our on-site medical centre where he received a high level of emergency medical treatment from a doctor, a registered nurse, paramedics and several first aid attendants," said Zawaduk.

The medical staff then took the man by ambulance to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, but he had a heart attack en route and died, said Zawaduk.

Alcohol, drugs banned at festival

Alcohol and illegal substances are banned but concert-goers are known to smuggle drugs such as ecstasy into the four-day party. RCMP and festival organizers do work to keep ravers safe, even setting up a tent to test the purity of drugs.

"There are indications of drug use at most, if not all major concerts and music festivals. So for one to occur in our area is not surprising," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Dan Seibel.