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Festival organisers sued over fatal shooting

The families of two women killed in a shooting during last year’s Beyond Wonderland festival in the US are suing the event’s organisers and security companies.

The electronic music festival, which was promoted by Live Nation’s Insomniac subsidiary, was held last June at the 27,500-cap Gorge Amphitheatre, near George, Washington State, about 150 miles east of Seattle.

Attendees Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz were shot by fellow festivalgoer James M. Kelly in the event’s campsite on the evening of 17 June 2024. Three other people were also injured. Following his arrest, Kelly allegedly told police he had ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms, retrieved a handgun and ammunition from his vehicle, which he had parked in the campground, and proceeded to open fire, striking several people and killing the victims, who were walking nearby.

Filed in King County, Washington by law firm Panish, Shea, Ravipudi (PSR), the complaint alleges that Live Nation “woefully fell short” in enforcing its policies prohibiting the possession of drugs and weapons on its premises and campgrounds.

“Never should someone’s life be taken so senselessly and tragically at a music event”

According to PSR, it is seeking to hold Live Nation, Insomniac and the security companies working the event “accountable for their egregiously deficient conduct and security protocols that resulted in the tragic deaths of these two women and injuries to three other people”.

“Live Nation has the means and the duty to make sure security is the highest priority for their concert patrons,” says a joint statement by the Escamilla and Ruiz families. “Never should someone’s life be taken so senselessly and tragically at a music event.”

Live Nation is yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit.

Kelly, a member of the US Army, has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges in connection with the shooting and is due to go on trial in August.

 


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Shooting incident during festival at Rotterdam Ahoy

A man was seriously injured during a shooting at I Love Urban festival, which took place at Rotterdam Ahoy in the Netherlands, last weekend.

The incident took place around 4:30 am, as the 8,000-capacity festival was coming to a close, a spokesperson said, and several thousand people were still present at that time.

Two suspects, aged 20 and 31, both from Rotterdam, were arrested in the incident and the victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Rotterdam Ahoy announced that it is investigating the shooting incident and how the firearm could enter the building.

“We at Ahoy are very shocked by this situation,” a spokesperson said. “Our concern first and foremost goes out to victims and any employees involved and we will, in collaboration with the organiser, investigate how this could have happened.”

“We at Ahoy are very shocked by this situation”

In a separate incident at the festival, two more men were arrested – one for assaulting a police officer and the other for insulting the police. The first was shocked with a stun gun when he was arrested. According to the police, there is no link between these suspects and the shooting incident that took place earlier.

I Love Urban is organised by actor and comedian Jandino Asporaat. This edition featured artists including Frenna, Jonna Fraser, Bilal Wahib, Bizzey, Idaly, and Poke.

Ahoy said that safety has “our utmost attention… certainly also during upcoming events”. Sunday’s events at the venue were not affected.

It comes a month after the Amsterdam municipality introduced new regulations for event organisers in response to a murder at a local festival.

The new rules require events with a capacity of more than 2,000 people to halt ticket sales one day before the event takes place, among other things.

The restrictions come after a 21-year-old man was stabbed to death in May at Amsterdam-based techno and house festival Solid Grooves, organised by ID&T-backed Apenkooi.

 


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Vince Neil concert curtailed after shooting

A festival set by Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil had to be cut short following reports of a nearby shooting.

Neil was starring at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City, US on Saturday (23 September), when the incident took place.

The 62-year-old singer was ordered off the stage just before 9pm after performing around three-quarters of his planned set on the event’s Chickasaw Country Entertainment Stage.

ABC reports that shots were fired during an argument between two groups of people at the Oklahoma State Fair Bennett Event Center, which police say sent crowds running for their safety.

“Crazy night last night 3/4 of the way thru the set people started running,” Neil tells his followers on X (formerly Twitter). “We were told to get in dressing room. There were shooters shooting people. Thank you fans for your understanding.”

“This was an isolated incident, one person was shot and two people taken into custody”

In a statement, local police confirm two people were taken into custody following the shooting. One has since been released.

“This was an isolated incident, one person was shot and two people taken into custody,” says a statement. “A handgun was recovered, and the victim transported to a local hospital. The investigation is ongoing.”

Guns are banned at the fairground, and police say there are security and detectors at the entrances. One person has been arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, while the victim remains in hospital in a critical condition.

The disturbance came just over two weeks after one person was wounded in a shooting at a concert in Memphis, Tennessee, headlined by Lil Baby. The rapper was reportedly rushed off the stage after shots were fired at the concert, held at the 19,000-cap FedExForum on 7 September.

A male victim was taken to hospital following the shooting, which police believe was premeditated. AP notes that is not yet known how the shooter managed to bring a gun into the arena, which contracts with a private security company to screen people for weapons.

 


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One dead, several hurt in shooting at punk venue

One man was killed and another suffered “life-threatening” injuries in a shooting at a DIY punk venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US.

Several other people were also hurt in the incident, which took place at Nudieland at around 10pm on Friday (11 August). Police are hunting suspects who fled the scene.

The identity of the man who died, who was in his 30s, has not yet been released by the authorities.

Police say that seven people were shot in total after someone walked up to the alley of the venue and opened fire.

“We believe one of the persons was being targeted by a shooter”

“We believe one of the persons was being targeted by a shooter,” Minneapolis police chief Brian O’Hara tells a press conference, as reported by MPR News. “We know two suspects ran from the scene, we can’t confirm there were two shooters though.”

The incident comes two months after two people were killed and three others injured following a shooting in the camping area of US electronic music festival Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge.

Also in June, a 35-year-old man was killed and another injured in a shooting at a concert in in Spring Valley Park, Kalamazoo, Michigan, while a 19-year-old woman was killed and four others were injured in a shooting outside a Fredo Bang concert in Newport, Arkansas, in February.

 


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Rotella speaks out on Beyond Wonderland tragedy

Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella says he is “at a loss to comprehend” the deadly shooting at the promoter’s Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge festival.

Two people were killed and three others hurt in a shooting in the camping area of the US electronic music festival near George, Washington State, on Saturday (17 June) evening.

The suspected gunman, who police say began shooting “randomly” into a crowd at the campsite, was eventually captured and taken into custody.

“On behalf of the entire Insomniac family, we extend our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the victims,” says Rotella in a statement posted to Instagram. “The loss of two lives, as well as the injuries sustained by others, is an incredibly heartbreaking tragedy.”

“It is our understanding that the incident stemmed from an isolated situation that escalated”

Rotella went on to provide an update on the incident based on the information currently available.

“We know that the shooting took place in the furthest campground from The Gorge Amphitheatre, which is designated for overflow camping and located a half mile outside the perimeter of the main festival grounds,” he says. “It is our understanding that the incident stemmed from an isolated situation that escalated, leading the assailant to flee the area. An officer-involved shooting then occurred to neutralise the threat.

“The Gorge has been successfully hosting events for decades. The circumstances of how and why this incident occurred are under investigation.”

Information about shooting victims and the suspect has not been released amid the ongoing investigation. But while the sold-out festival’s second day was called off in the wake of the tragedy, Rotella addresses why its first day was not curtailed.

“Many have questioned why the festival continued during and after the incident”

“Many have questioned why the festival continued during and after the incident,” he says. “We made the decision to keep the festival open at the request of law enforcement once it became evident that there was no ongoing threat to the safety of attendees.

“This was also done to ensure that the majority of attendees stayed away from the campground area where the incident took place. Our staff worked in close coordination with local authorities to secure the area, while also preserving it for investigators to conduct their work in a smaller, isolated section.”

He adds: “This tragedy has deeply affected me. As the organiser of this event, my intention has always been to bring people together and celebrate our shared love for music and community. I am at a loss to comprehend how individuals can commit such heinous acts.

“Throughout 30 years of organising events, we have brought together millions of people without any incidents of this nature. I hold a profound love for our community and deeply value the principles that define our culture. This incident stands in stark contrast to everything we stand for – it goes against the spirit of unity, love and respect that we strive to foster within our community.”

“Everyone on site plays an important role in our safety”

Meanwhile, security at this weekend’s Electric Forest festival is being stepped up in response to the shooting. The event, which is co-produced by Insomniac and Madison House Presents, is being held at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Michigan, from 22-25 June.

“We want to reassure you that HQ works year-round with large-scale event security professionals including Michigan State Police, and local law enforcement agencies, and FBI, to provide a safe environment for our patrons, staff, and artists,” tweets the festival. “We have been in detailed discussions with these teams over the last 24hrs for increased safety oversight and protocols. This presence will be visible to all attendees throughout the festival site and campgrounds.

“In addition, we will have specialised Festival K9 Units on site. These highly trained dogs and their skilled handlers have undergone rigorous training in firearm detection amidst a large crowd and in challenging environmental conditions. Everyone on site plays an important role in our safety. We support the importance of the mantra ‘See something, say something’.”

 


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Two killed in shooting at festival campsite

Two people were killed and three others injured following a shooting in the camping area of US electronic music festival Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge.

Police say a gunman began shooting “randomly” into a crowd at the event’s campsite, several hundred yards away from the concert venue, at around 8.25pm on Saturday (17 June).

The suspected gunman was eventually captured and taken into custody. No further details have been made available, pending an investigation. Information about shooting victims will not be released until the on-site investigation is complete, and the victims’ families have been notified.

The Insomniac-promoted festival was held at the 27,500-cap Gorge Amphitheatre, near George, Washington State, about 150 miles east of Seattle.

Speaking at a press conference, Kyle Foreman, public information officer for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, tells reporters: “We don’t know what the motives were or what the intentions were of the shooter and we’ll have to wait and see if we can find that information out later on.”

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the local authorities and staff who acted quickly to manage the situation”

The sold-out festival continued as planned on Saturday night, but its second day was cancelled in the wake of the tragedy. DJs on the bill included Marshmello, Afrojack, Andy C, Sub Focus, KX5, Dillon Francis and Justin Hawkes.

“Due to the incident that took place in the overflow camping area last night, we regret to inform you that Day 2 of Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge has been cancelled,” says a statement from organisers. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the local authorities and staff who acted quickly to manage the situation. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends and all those affected by this tragic event.”

The incident came just a week after a 35-year-old man was killed and another injured in a shooting at a concert in Spring Valley Park, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis debuted “gun-free zones” policy at Elevation Group’s WonderRoad Music Festival, headlined by Weezer and Jason Isbell, in Garfield Park over the weekend. IndyStar reports that “gun-free zones”, announced by the city in late May, would involve the city helping private groups who have leased a public space for an event to enforce a gun-free policy by sending additional law enforcement, which the city is allowed to do under Indiana law.

It notes that last year’s Music Midtown festival in Atlanta, Georgia, was cancelled amid an apparent conflict between the festival’s no guns policy and an appeals court ruling that made it more difficult for private companies to ban firearms on public property leased for short-term events.

 


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One dead, four hurt in shooting outside US concert

A 19-year-old woman was killed and four others were injured in a shooting outside a Fredo Bang concert in the early hours of Sunday (5 February).

The incident took place at the Old Branch Building in the city of Newport, Arkansas at 2.30am while the rapper was on stage.

The dead woman has been identified as Tamarionna Jarrett of Augusta, while one victim was airlifted to hospital for further treatment.

Two suspects have been arrested but are yet to be charged, with further arrests likely

Two suspects have been arrested but are yet to be charged, with further arrests likely, according to police.

Rodrick Spearman, who was working security at the event, tells KAIT that he and others tried to get people inside once the shooting started.

“I know there was no weapons inside the building or anything like that, we had 10 security guards we had a an off-duty sheriff,” he says. “They controlled everything.”

 


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Two injured in shooting at Asian Doll gig

Two people were shot after a fight broke out at an Asian Doll concert at a college homecoming in North Carolina.

The incident took place during the US rapper’s set at Livingstone College in Salisbury at around 11pm on Saturday (15 October).

According to local police, a female victim received a graze wound and was treated and released from hospital, while a male victim was flown to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center with a gunshot wound. His condition is listed as stable.

“The investigation up to this point indicates that there was no exchange of gunfire by those involved in the altercation”

“An altercation occurred on the campus of Livingstone College last night during its homecoming concert,” says a statement by Salisbury Police Department. “During the altercation, a person, who is not a student of Livingstone College, fired one or more shots. The investigation up to this point indicates that there was no exchange of gunfire by those involved in the altercation contrary to earlier rumours.”

Livingstone College president Dr Anthony Davis says the education facility is collaborating with law enforcement agencies on the investigation.

“Our priority is and remains to ensure the mental wellness of our students and to evaluate our public safety measures to create a safe, living, learning and working environment,” adds Davis. “I am saddened because our students, alumni, family and friends were exposed to this senseless act of violence. We are working collaboratively with our local law enforcement agencies as they are conducting a thorough investigation.”

 


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1 killed, 11 injured at outdoor concert in Dallas

One person was killed and 11 others were injured during a shooting at an outdoor concert in Dallas, north Texas, at the weekend.

In the early hours of Sunday (3 April), officers responded to a field in southeast Oak Cliff where the Second Annual Epic Easter Bike Out & Field Party was being held.

Police said a preliminary investigation found that during the concert, one person fired a gun into the air, then another unknown individual fired a gun in the crowd’s direction, according to AP News.

Near the concert stage, police found 26-year-old TikTok creator Kealon Dejuane Gilmore lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. Gilmore died at the scene.

Near the concert stage, police found 26-year-old Kealon Dejuane Gilmore lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head

Police say that 11 other individuals were shot during the concert, all of whom were taken to hospitals either by ambulance or by private vehicles.

One person was in critical condition and the others were in stable condition. Three of the people hurt are juveniles, police said.  As of Sunday afternoon, no one has been arrested.

The event, reportedly attended by around 2,000 people, would have been headlined by Memphis-based rapper Big Boogie, who did not end up performing.

The event included live performances, an Easter egg hunt and a trail ride. ATVs or horses were welcome at the event.

Organisers had advertised that Dallas officers would be on-site to provide security, a claim that the Dallas Police Department is now looking into.

Sunday morning’s shooting happened two weeks after 10 people were shot on 19 March during a spring break party at a Dallas event venue.

 


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One killed in shooting outside Berlin’s Tempodrom

One has been killed and four others injured following a shooting outside Berlin music venue the Tempodrom, on Friday night (14 February).

The incident took place in the square in front of the 4,200-capacity venue around 11 p.m. on Friday, as a Turkish comedy show, Güldür Güldür, was taking place inside.

Berlin police posted the following statement: “According to initial findings, unknown assailants fired shots outside the building, causing one person to die and three others to be injured. The perpetrators are fleeing.”

It was later confirmed that a fourth person was injured.

Berlin’s public prosecutor’s office and the Berlin police are investigating the incident.

IQ has contacted the Tempodrom for comment.

 


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