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Music fest cut short after drug-linked deaths

2013-09-02 11:58
New York - The last day of a New York City dance music festival featuring high-profile acts including Avicii, David Guetta and Diplo was cancelled on Sunday after the deaths of two attendees and the hospitalisations of several others, apparently linked to drugs.

The city said it recommended that the Electric Zoo festival end early after the deaths and illnesses during the first two days of performances on Friday and Saturday. The festival took place on Randall's Island in the East River.

"The Electric Zoo organisers have worked with city officials to reduce health risks at this event, but in view of these occurrences, the safest course is to cancel the remaining day of the event," the city said.

Police identified those who died as Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, New York, and Olivia Rotondo, 20, of Providence, Rhode Island.

MDMA or ecstacy

Russ was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital around 03:20 on Saturday, police said. He had been brought to the hospital from the festival.

Rotondo was taken to Metropolitan Hospital later on Saturday, around 20:45, and was pronounced dead shortly afterward, police said.

The city says the deaths appear to have been linked to drugs, specifically MDMA, or ecstasy. A spokesperson for the city medical examiner said autopsy results were inconclusive and further toxicology and tissue testing is needed.

The event's founders, Made Event, expressed condolences on its website to the families of those who died.

"Because there is nothing more important to us than our patrons, we have decided in consultation with the New York City Parks Department that there will be no show today," the statement said.

The festival has been held over the Labor Day holiday weekend since 2009. It draws sizable crowds to hear artists performing on multiple stages.
Read more on:    david guetta  |  new york  |  celebrities  |  music  |  narcotics
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