Ten people were taken to hospital and more than 200 people were assessed by on-site medical staff during a rowdy Thursday night at Bluesfest, according to Ottawa paramedics.
Four additional workers were called in after paramedics became “overwhelmed very early on in the evening,” the Ottawa Paramedic Service said in a statement issued early Friday morning.
The 10 people taken to hospital were suffering from trauma related to falls, as well as alcohol and drug intoxication.
At least one person was hospitalized after being sexually assaulted, paramedics said.
First responders also had to treat at least one person with naloxone, which is administered to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Six of the 10 people taken to hospital were minors, paramedics added. They also handled an additional 10 calls involving people just outside the festival grounds.
Thursday’s main stage artists included Flume, a popular Australian DJ, American rapper Lil Yachty, and hip-hop trio Migos.
‘Some girls were crying’
Josh Michel, 18, went to Bluesfest Thursday to see Migos and Lil Yachty.
“At first the crowd wasn’t that crazy, but the more you would go forward, the more people would just push each other and do mosh pits. It was just insane,” Michel said in a phone interview Friday.
“Girls were falling everywhere. Some girls were crying, having panic attacks, saying they couldn’t breathe. Just because some guys like to push each other and do these mosh pits.”
One of Michel’s friends had to be pulled out of the crowd because he was feeling sick from being jostled around so much.
“It gets to the point where you can’t breathe,” Michel said, adding that the worst crush happened during Migos.
Fans break through fence
In a YouTube video posted on Thursday, fans can be seen breaking down a security fence and rushing into the festival grounds.
Ottawa police said they dealt with a number of intoxicated festivalgoers Thursday night and arrested two people who were released without being charged.