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November 1, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Seattle’s FreakNight Festival canceled after deadly overdose

Updated, 10:30 p.m.:

Seattle’s FreakNight Festival, an annual Halloween-themed electronic-dance music party that attracts tens of thousands of revelers, had its second night canceled Saturday after its opening night saw two partygoers overdose, according to the Washington Poison Center, one fatally.

The overdoses and death from the Friday night event were confirmed by a nursing supervisor at Harborview Medical Center.

The Twitter account for CenturyLink Field announced the cancellation just after 5 p.m. Saturday. The party was held at WaMu Theater at CenturyLink Field.

“Due to circumstances surrounding last night’s event, tonight’s show has been canceled. #FreakNight2014,” the account tweeted. “Information on refunds will be available on Monday.”

Alexander Garrard, clinical managing director at the Washington Poison Center, reached out to the party’s organizer earlier Saturday to express concern about the overdoses, which Garrard said were apparently from the club drug Molly. The center had been contacted by hospital staff for help with the overdoses.

“Whether they were doing the drug at the event or prior to the event we don’t know,” said Garrard.

One of the partygoers died at the hospital after being taken there in critical condition, Garrard said, describing the deceased as a male in his early 20s.

As of Saturday night, the other person was in serious condition, a Harborview nursing supervisor said.

The party’s organizer, USC Events, could not be reached for comment Saturday night, and the Seattle Police Department had no information on the overdoses or the cancellation, a spokesman said.

It wasn’t immediately clear who made the decision to cancel the second night of the party.

Kyle Moore, a Seattle Fire Department spokesman, said 18 medics and emergency medical technicians were inside the party Friday night. He said 16 partygoers were taken to Harborview, including six who were seriously ill. Those six had symptoms of possible drug use, but all were alive when they reached the hospital between about 1 and 2 a.m., Moore said.

Molly is often used interchangeably with the terms ecstasy and MDMA. The nursing supervisor said the deceased tested positive for ecstasy.

Popular in the party scene because it can provide users with a sense of euphoria, Molly is an amphetamine, Garrard said.

Taking the drug can cause elevated body temperatures, heart rates and blood pressure, which can lead to death, he said.

Comments | More in General news, Health, The Blotter | Topics: drugs, ecstacy, FreakNight


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