15 people treated by paramedics during Escapade
A banner above the entrance to Escapade Music Festival. (CTV Ottawa)
Ottawa Paramedics treated 15 people during the two night Escapade Music Festival at Lansdowne.
Nine people were taken to local hospitals during the festival, mainly for overdoses.
In a media release, paramedics said a man in his 20s was resuscitated by paramedics after taking GHB on Saturday night. He was taken to hospital in critical condition. Another man in his 20s was taken to hospital on Saturday in serious condition after taking GHB. Both men are expected to survive.
Day 1 of #Escapade2018 completed. Great teamwork with the organizers, @CdnSkiPatrol, @ottawahealth to keep overdoses at a minimum. 5 OD taken to hospital, 1 critical and 1 serious, both due to GHB. None are life threatening. Other 3 were minor. Back at it tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/tbbYMKrpng
— Ottawa Paramedic Svc (@OttawaParamedic) June 24, 2018
The overdoses come after stark warnings from emergency responders and festival organizers about the dangers of overdoses and the presence of fentanyl, a potentially fatal drug.
"Any drug can be cut with fentanyl and even one pill can kill you," said Ottawa Paramedic spokesperson Marc-Antoine Deschamps. " So it's very important people know that even speed, ecstasy or amphetamines or GHB can be cut with fentanyl."
Festival Organizer Alli Shafaee said additional paramedics, ski patrol, security and staff with Ottawa Public Health were brought on board to help keep people safe. Last year's event went without any major incidents.
"Obviously the safest festival is the best," he said. "The more we can add and improve by working with emergency services to make sure people are here and staying hydrated and having a good time ... the better."
The electronic dance music festival is now in its ninth year and its second at Lansdowne Park. Big names such as Zedd, and Alesso as well as dozens of other artists are expected to draw about 30,000 people to Lansdowne Park this weekend. This year, organizers added a fourth stage to put on even more shows for festivalgoers.
"It's for the music," said Patrick Carriera, a first timer. "It's for the community. Everyone is so nice and lovely here."