Festival casualties ’08!

By DAVID THORPE  |  July 21, 2008

JULY 12 | A dark cloud was cast over Scotland’s T in the Park festival (in addition to the dark clouds that always hover over Scotland) when a festivalgoer was brutally stabbed. By some miracle he survived; as of press time, remains in stable condition. By the end of the event, 575 people had been treated for injuries, and one man was found dead in his tent. Which puts this plucky young festival right up there with Glastonbury as one of the UK’s most hazardous diversions.

JULY 12 & 13 | Two persons were found dead on a bus headed for the Norway Rock Festival, apparently of carbon monoxide poisoning. The next day, strong winds knocked down a tree branch at Serbia’s renowned Exit festival; one camper was killed and two others were seriously injured. These senseless, random tragedies represent the disappointing side of festival fatalities: the victims weren’t even killed by something they could brag about in Heaven, like Satanic rock violence, heroic drug abuse, or one of those crowd surges that make bands cry on their Behind the Music specials.

JULY 14 | The Rocklahoma festival, a revival of ’80s hair metal featuring acts like Dokken, Firehouse, Ratt, Jackyl, and Night Ranger, killed surprisingly few. The festival’s sole fatality came as a complication of diabetes, though God made an earnest attempt to put an end to the whole awful thing with his mighty breath. High winds toppled two of the festival’s stages, but nobody was injured by the weather, and all 122 scheduled bands still got a chance to play. God: 0; Butt Rock: 122.

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