Live & Touring

Tiny Rural Hospital’s E.R. Overwhelmed By Fans From Summer Festivals Like Sasquatch

Sasquatch_logo_bwWhen new festivals are announced for Washington State's Gorge Ampitheater, where the Sasquatch Festival is about to occur, Dr. Fernando Dietsch checks out related music in order to guess which kinds of drugs and what kinds of harmful activities are likely to occur. He admits to stereotyping but it's necessary when you run a tiny E.R. and have to plan ahead. Not only that but the costs of providing additional services hit $400k last year and that has to change.

Memorial Day Weekend's Sasquatch Festival at Gorge Ampitheater is the hook for this report about the overflowing E.R. at nearby Quincy Valley Medical Center. But the problem is bigger than Sasquatch.

The situation is said to be unique for U.S. festivals. One small hospital provides all the emergency services for Gorge Ampitheater with no support from the Gorge or from Live Nation who books all the shows. And there are a whole series of such festivals that happen there over the course of the summer.

E.R. Director Dr. Fernando Dietsch says they've been talking with Live Nation to no effect and reveals:

"I seriously do not believe in their good faith at this point."

There is proposed legislation that would add $1 a ticket putting the cost on attendees for needed preparation and for those who don't pay their bills.

Ideally a solution will include more coordination with medical personnel. As it is, Dietsch says they're dealing with a situation in which:

“They come by ambulance. They come by friends. They come by pick-up trucks…They’re unconscious or barely conscious. They’re intoxicated (with) something. Their blood pressure is dropping. You don’t know why.”

And that's a bad situation for everyone involved.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) is also beta blogging at DanceLand. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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