FreakNight rave event shut down after person dies from drug overdose
SEATTLE — One person is dead and another in the hospital after overdosing on “Molly” which is a pure form of ecstasy.
It happened at the FreakNight festival, a popular annual event held at the WAMU Theater in Seattle.
On Friday, the Seattle Fire Dept transported 16 people to Harborview from the rave event. Six of those transports were possible drug overdoses. One person — 20-year-old Aaron Altman — died. His manner of death has not yet been released.
On Saturday out of concerns for public safety, organizers decided to cancel the event. The last-minute shut down left hundreds of people stranded all dressed up and nowhere to go.
“Very very annoyed,” Julia Karman said.
First told it was a production delay they waited venting frustrations on social media.
“We were in line for like two hours before they said anything,” Jaimee Cabrera said.
After hours in the cold they learned the rave event was canceled.
“They said the event got canceled because of circumstances that happened last night,” Karman said.
The Washington Poison Center confirmed to Q13 Fox News that one person died from a Molly overdose while another is sick in the hospital after the first day of FreakNight.
“Prior events you can see people doing drugs inside but last night I didn’t see any of that,” Karman said.
“Events like this people want to feel happy but you have to be responsible,” Carlos Aviado said.
“If security was doing their job don’t think they should have canceled the event tonight,” Daniel Rattray said.
They say they shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s bad choices.
“Especially events like these that cost upward of $200 plus for people,” Marcus Johns said.
They want their money back but say there was confusion around that too.
No one got a refund Saturday night. Details will be posted on CenturyLink’s website on Monday.
Suzanne Lavendar a spokesperson for the event released this statement.
“We have learned that there was an incident with a guest attending last night’s event. Our main priority is making sure that people are safe. At this time, we are looking into exactly what has happened and how it happened."
The after party at Showbox Sodo was also canceled.
Sunday, USC Events released this statement:
"On Nov. 1, news media reported that a Friday night attendee of the annual two-day FreakNight festival at CenturyLink Field died after being transported from the venue. USC Events became aware of this alleged incident just before 4 p.m. on Saturday. After discussing the situation with USC Events, CenturyLink Field decided to cancel the second night of the show just before 6 p.m.
While we have no official information about this incident, USC Events is deeply affected by this news, and we offer our condolences to the families involved. The bond between USC Events and its fans is strong, and safety is the top priority at all of our events.
USC Events has been a promoter of electronic dance music for more than 18 years. The Pioneer Square-based company has produced shows across Seattle and the Northwest, including 17 previous FreakNight events on Halloween.
Approximately 22,000 people were expected each night during this year’s event. Prior to the festival, USC Events promoted its health and safety program, “The Message,” through web and social media platforms. Created with input from local public health officials, The Message stressed personal responsibility and emphasized the state’s Good Samaritan law.
In addition, USC Events organized the “Conscious Crew” of volunteers to interact with patrons at the venue. Equipped with water and two-way radios, the Conscious Crew is tasked with ensuring patrons enjoy themselves safely.
Free water was provided throughout the venue.
During this year’s FreakNight, USC Events’ Health & Safety Director was on-site working with the venue to advise safety plans and follow best practices in crowd management.
We remain committed to promoting electronic dance music as a vibrant and vital artistic expression. We look forward to working with all interested parties to ascertain the facts about what transpired on Halloween and creating the safest possible environment for our patrons.
Refund information will be available on Monday."