Well, this is a bad way to start a festival weekend.
Sad news today out of Montebello's Rockfest in Quebec.
The festival has just kicked off, and attendees are in for an insane weekend packed full of incredible artists... but the festival did not start off on the right foot.
A 25-year old man has died at Rockfest 2018 today, and a drug overdose is suspected to be the reason why.
Gatineau paramedics were on the scene at the festival campground, which lies about halfway between Montreal and Ottawa.
Paramedics were notified of a man in cardiac arrest early this morning at 8 a.m. (June 15th).
The 25-year-old was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Paramedics suspect the death could be drug-related, and his identity has not yet been released.
The young man who lost his life due to suspected drugs is 1 of 9 people who had been taken to the hospital between Thursday evening shows on the festivals first night, and this morning at 9 a.m.
There were two other confirmed drug overdoses at the festival so far, one of which required the opioid-reversing drug naloxone. Nearby by communities had their paramedics on the site for assistance.
This story is developing and more details will come.
Montebello's Rockfest is touted as the largest rock music festival in the country. Many attendees fly from all over Canada to come to this massive festival every year. I have friends there from Winnipeg right as I write this!
This is tragic news, and my thoughts go out to this young man's friends and families. Losing one's life during what is meant to be a celebration should never happen.... and it doesn't have to.
In today's culture, specifically party and/or festival culture, you need to be extremely careful of what you are doing with yourself and the consumption you intend on.
It's no secret that party drugs run high at events such as these. It's also no secret that Canada is experiencing an opioid drug crisis. When in doubt, don't take anything! If you must, be smart about it.
Now, I don't know what the festival scene is like over at Rockfest. However, I do know that many other festivals in Montreal will typically have paramedics and outside hired intervention teams to assist with safety, sexual safety, and drug safety issues such as this.
Some festivals have even begun having pop-up medical drug testers for people to drop by and ensure what they bought and plan to take is safe for consumption - depending on what you'd consider "safe."
Evenko just announced their partnership with the Swallows that will be seen throughout all of their festival grounds this year, who have specialized training on issues exactly as this one. You can read more about that here.
Again, I am truly sorry to hear this news, and our thoughts go out to anyone affected by this tragedy.
Please, people, be smart and be safe with your festival experiences!