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Published: 2004/05/17

Mountain View Jam Cancelled on Sunday Following Dosing Incident

This past weekend in Elon, NC the Mountain View Jam was disrupted by an individual who it is believed to have dosed some fellow concertgers with an unknown substance. The festival prmoters have released the following statment which we offer in its entirety:
There are quite a few different stories floating around and lots of contradictions within them. Hopefully this will clear up some of the confusion surrounding the events on Saturday afternoon.
Regarding the police being on site Saturday, we received word that the local task force was planning on coming into the site sometime Saturday late afternoon/evening. The word was spread to encourage discretion by everyone and to be wary of being approached by someone they didnt know personally. They never did enter the property or show up at the front gate.
We cannot go into full detail regarding all the information we have as it may compromise the current investigation. What we can do is clear up some of the rumors and stories.
Around 4pm Saturday, we received word that someone had been spotted by our security spraying an unknown substance into someones face, when they approached, he bolted and they were tracking him in the woods. At that time there were already 2 people in first aid and security was on alert. At the same time, a woman showed up at the front gate was frantic to find her kids for a family emergency. We believe he called this woman from a cell phone and was trying to set up a pick up. The girl in the halter top in the first photograph, that is circulating on the boards, was traveling with him and was picked up by the woman. We do have information on her and the boy who is now believed to be 25 years old and are pursuing a prosecution with the appropriate authorities.
Approximately 10-12 people were affected and severely ill. Noone went to the hospital. For some of the people affected it was voluntary, but about were not. When they refused him, he became aggressive and sprayed them anyhow. The story about him grabbing the girls face is true, she was afraid to say anything and evidently no one else saw it or has yet to come forward. He had a Saturday pass only and was not on the grounds Friday night. The true nature of the substance is still not known, we do have an idea of what it was but it has not been confirmed.
He was not taken into custody by our staff or local authorities and because he was not apprehended, the following things happened. As promoters if we cannot ensure the safety of attendees we have to take certain measures to control the situation. The front gate was sealed at 4pm. The music was postponed for two reasons, one: to disburse any crowded areas to keep him from reentering the site and potentially blending into a crowd and hurting anyone else and two: we needed a local authority to approve our continuing the event. The County Sheriff was contacted and he came to file an official report only. He had received no complaints about the festival and had we not had this situation arise he would never have been there. (Evidently the warning about the task force was bogus.) The Sheriff and the landowner did give the okay to finish out the night but that was it.
Since the kid was not apprehended during the night, we had to cancel Sundays lineup as we still could not ensure everyones safety. We know this was disappointing to everyone in attendance, believe us when we say that if it could have been avoided it would have. We were looking forward to Sundays lineup as much as everyone else. Our main concern was and still is for everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time.
We would like to apologize to everyone for the disruption of what had been one of the best festival vibes we had ever experienced. As some have mentioned already, if you were not there it would be hard to understand the full impact of what happened. Those of you who were, we thank you for coming and being so supportive during a horrible situation. The way everyone pulled together to help self-police and protect what had been a great experience is truly touching.
It doesnt seem right that one person could affect so many in such a negative way. Our main goal was to prove that one persons actions could make a positive impact on society and instead the opposite occurred. If you take anything away from this festival we hope that it is this: You as an individual do impact everyone around you, through your words and actions. You have a responsibility to yourself to understand that who you are and how you interact with others will have an impact, whether it is small or large is of no consequence. It is up to you to determine if it is a positive or negative experience.
Again we want to thank everyone from attendees, bands, vendors, to all of our support staff. Your positive support has helped us deal with a bad situation.
Anyone with additional pertinent information may contact the promoters through their web site.

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