Insomniac Events founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella has issued a statement following a tragic shooting incident that took place at the Beyond Wonderland festival in Washington on June 17.

The electronic music festival was held at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington this past weekend saw its second day (June 18) cancelled after police were alerted to an “active shooter” on June 17. The shooting resulted in the death of two attendees and further injured three others.

Now, Rotella has taken to social media to share an update on the events transpired, while adding that investigations are underway on how the shooting managed to take place.

“On behalf of the entire Insomniac family, we extend our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the victims. The loss of two lives, as well as the injuries sustained by others, is an incredibly heartbreaking tragedy,” Rotella started his statement.

“Given the various accounts circulating, I would like to provide an update based on the information currently available,” he wrote.

“We know that the shooting took place in the furthest campground from The Gorge Amphitheatre, which is designated for overflow camping and located a half mile outside the perimeter of the main festival grounds. It is our understanding that the incident stemmed from an isolated situation that escalated, leading the assailant to flee the area. An officer-involved shooting then occurred to neutralize the threat”.

Later on in his update, Rotella shared a reason as to why the festival remained open following the shooting: “We made the decision to keep the festival open at the request of law enforcement once it became evident that there was no ongoing threat to the safety of attendees. This was also done to ensure that the majority of attendees stayed away from the campground area where the incident took place. Our staff worked in close coordination with local authorities to secure the area, while also preserving it for investigators to conduct their work in a smaller, isolated section”.

Read Pasquale Rotella’s full update below.

Elsewhere in his update, Rotella thanked the artists and staff at the festival for “maintaining the safety and calmness of the attendees”. “To the Insomniac first responder team, i am grateful for your professionalism, passion, care and courage. I cannot imaging being by the side of any other group when it comes to managing a situation as challenging as this one,” Rotella added.

“This tragedy has deeply affected me. As the organizer of this event, my intention has always been to bring people together and celebrate our shared love for music and community. I am at a loss to comprehend how individuals can commit such heinous acts. Throughout 30 years of organizing events, we have brought together millions of people without any incidents of this nature. I hold a profound love for our community and deeply value the principles that define our culture. This incident stands in stark contrast to everything we stand for – it goes agains the spirit of unity, love and respect that we strive to foster within our community”.

Following the shooting, DJ and producer Whipped Cream cancelled their appearance at Beyond Wonderland. “I’m deeply sorry but I can’t perform knowing people just died here, we need to have some respect,” they said in a since-deleted tweet (via Mixmag). “I’m in utter shock and I’m going to pay my respects to the families who just lost a loved one.”

Day 2 of the festival – which was set to feature performances from AfrojackAndy C and Marshmello among others – was cancelled entirely.

The post Beyond Wonderland organiser issues update following shooting incident appeared first on NME.


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