As Boston Garden officials pledged to do more to prevent another EDM "mass casualty incident," public-safety officials said they had to deal with more than just several dozen chemically impaired show goers before a June 25 Avicii concert.
At a Boston Licensing Board hearing this morning, police said one woman was sexually assaulted during the concert. A Garden security guard noticed the attack and broke it up, but the alleged attacker "knocked back" the guard and was able to escape into the crowd, a police detective told the licensing board. The victim, who was "incoherent" and so unable to provide much information, was transported to Mass. General for treatment, an EMT who was working the concert, said.
Separately, a Belmont Hill School student who apparently got upset at a friend who couldn't help him find a female acquaintance sucker punched the friend, then began beating him as the friend lay on the ground, police said. The teen was also taken to Mass. General, police said.
As they did at an earlier hearing before the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, police and Garden officials agreed that 86 people, all between 16 and 25, needed treatment for various levels of intoxication.
Sgt. Det. Robert Mulvey said part of the problem might have been the show was all ages, rather than 18+, which might have encouraged younger teens unable to handle alcohol and other drugs to pre-game too much. He said that although he did not investigate just what the people had ingested, he said many seemed to be in much worse shape than if they had just drunk alcohol.
Michael Bosse, deputy EMS superintendent, said he was concerned that Garden never notified nearby hospitals or the city that they had a "mass casualty incident" going on. Both he and Mulvey responded to the scene after hearing radio traffic about would-be concert goers dropping like flies.
James Mayall, Garden security director, however, said he was in constant contact with a BPD captain who lead a force of 23 other BPD officers at the show that night. He said that based on experiences elsewhere, the Garden had also increased the number of detail EMTs on duty that night and did things such as provide free cold water and cooling rooms for patrons. Garden attorney Stephen Miller said 70% of the people transported to the hospital were stopped before they ever entered the Garden.
The Garden has agreed to training by Boston EMS and the Public Health Commission on how to recognize and treat signs of impairment this fall.
Board member Milton Wright expressed outrage at promoters of EDM concerts. Given the track record of EDM shows across the country, it's time for their promoters to step up and do something, rather than just leaving venues and cities to clean up after them, he said. "People are making so much money off these concerts, they have an obligation [to do something]," he said. "Maybe they ought not to be able to give them. It's ridiculous."
The board decides Thursday what action, if any, to take.