Nocturnal Festival Sees Arrests and Injuries

Labor Day Weekend saw the 20th annual Nocturnal Wonderland Festival arrive in Devore. Nearly 85,000 people attended the event and, unfortunately, not all walked away unscathed.

Officials are quick to point out that the arrests and injuries that took place over the weekend should not be a surprise. With thousands of people spending five days in the same place, things are bound to happen. All of those injured have been released from the hospital as of this writing.

The event’s promoter, Insomniac Events, released a report claiming that close to 85,000 people were in attendance for this year’s festival. The event began on Thursday evening and concluded Monday. Most of those who had spent the weekend camping at the festival were gone by early Monday afternoon.

Of the 300 arrests, 37 were for federal cases. These persons were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The remainder of the arrests were conducted by local authorities, including members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. A total of 32 people were sent to the hospital. Two of those people were flown out of the area by helicopter. All but one of the injured had been released by Friday.

Whether the arrests and injuries will have an impact on the festival remains to be seen. Raves and festivals like this one have come under fire in recent years for a presumed amount of drug use and the potential for violence or injury. Three young people have died this year at various festivals that are similar to the Nocturnal Festival.

Katie Dix, 19, and Tracy Nguyen, 18, died after suspected drug overdoses at the Hard Summer Festival in Pomona. John Hoang Din Vo, 22, died following an overdose of Ecstasy after attending the Beyond Wonderland festival held in March.

Prior to entrance into the Nocturnal Festival, attendees were given cards created by law enforcement officials, warning of the dangers of Ecstasy. Despite warnings, some event-goers insisted on using the drug.

While 300 arrests may seem excessive, promoters point out that events such as these have a higher-than-normal police presence, making it easier to spot trouble-makers. Law enforcement officials say that this is not necessarily the case, pointing to other festivals that have only a fraction of the arrests.

Law enforcement continues to campaign against the use of Ecstasy at raves and other festivals. If you plan on attending one of these multi-day parties, understand that Ecstasy is extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. Go, enjoy the music, dance the night away, and have a good time. But do it without the use of illegal narcotics.

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