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. 2017 Feb;32(1):58-63.
doi: 10.1017/S1049023X16001205. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Mortality at Music Festivals: Academic and Grey Literature for Case Finding


Mortality at Music Festivals: Academic and Grey Literature for Case Finding

Sheila A Turris et al. Prehosp Disaster Med. .


Objective: Deaths at music festivals are not infrequently reported in the media; however, the true mortality burden is difficult to determine as the deaths are not yet systematically documented in the academic literature.

Methods: This was a literature search for case examples using academic and gray literature sources, employing both retrospective and prospective searches of media sources from 1999-2014.

Results: The gray literature documents a total of 722 deaths, including traumatic (594/722; 82%) and non-traumatic (128/722; 18%) causes. Fatalities were caused by trampling (n=479), motor-vehicle-related (n=39), structural collapses (n=28), acts of terror (n=26), drowning (n=8), assaults (n=6), falls (n=5), hanging (n=2), and thermal injury (n=2). Non-traumatic deaths included overdoses (n=96/722; 13%), environmental causes (n=8/722; 1%), natural causes (n=10/722; 1%), and unknown/not reported (n=14/722; 2%). The majority of non-trauma-related deaths were related to overdose (75%). The academic literature documents trauma-related deaths (n=368) and overdose-related deaths (n=12). One hundred percent of the trauma-related deaths reported in the academic literature also were reported in the gray literature (n=368). Mortality rates cannot be reported as the total attendance at events is not known.

Conclusions: The methodology presented in this manuscript confirms that deaths occur not uncommonly at music festivals, and it represents a starting point in the documentation and surveillance of mortality. Turris SA , Lund A . Mortality at music festivals: academic and grey literature for case finding. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):58-63.

Keywords: ED emergency department; EDME Electronic Dance Music Event; MCI mass-casualty incident; Google Alerts; Internet surveillance; electronic dance music; mass gatherings; music festivals.

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