Over 50,000 people attended the Sunset Music Festival and witnessed massive overdoses taking place throughput the crowd. Police are saying that as many as 57 people took the illegal drug Molly (also known as MDMA or Esctasy) and are suspected to have overdosed. Two people died: Katie Bermudez, 21, and Alex Haynes, 22, both are Florida residents.
The event was held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and medical staff at the event were overwhelmed with suspected cases of overdoses. Police arrested 30 people, charging at least 25 with felonies and eight with misdemeanors that included marijuana possession. The event was held this past Saturday and Sunday. It is reported that Haynes died Sunday while Bermudez died on Monday. The cause of death has not officially been released by authorities pending an autopsy. When Bermudez arrived at the hospital she was suffering from an elevated fever and brain swelling and was placed on a ventilator. According to her family, she was not a known user of heavy drugs and they feel that someone may have spiked her drink.
It is widely suspected that Molly was being used by concertgoers in the packed stadium during the high heat of a Florida summer day. According to Dr. Tamas Peredy of the Poison Control Center, Molly use in high heat can be deadly. “I think people need to realize when they buy something called Molly, it would be like walking into the store and buying soda and not knowing what was in the bottle,” said Peredy.
The concert promoter of Sunset Music Festival released the following statement::
“The health, safety and welfare of our fans and community is Sunset Music Festival’s first priority and we take every measure to create a safe environment at our events. Any loss of life is a tragedy and we extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those affected. Due to the ongoing investigation by the medical examiner’s office, Sunset will not issue additional comments at this time.”
The police and other law enforcement agencies are continuing the investigation.