gorge shooting

GEORGE, Wash. — After fearing for his life during the Beyond Wonderland shooting at the Gorge Amphitheater on Saturday, one concerned member of the music festival community launched a petition to demand better security and harm reduction measures at music festivals. Two people were killed in the shooting, and three others were injured.

The petition, which has gathered more than 1,800 signatures on change.org, claims that music festivals are not being protected from violence, drug overdoses, drownings and other incidents that have occurred in recent years.

Started by festivalgoer Alex Fisk, the petition cites the Rave Act, a federal law passed in 2002 that allows prosecutors to go after rave promoters and venues for drug use, as a factor that has created a culture that turns a blind eye to security checks and discourages providing on-site resources for drug users.

The petition calls for either the repeal or amendment of the Rave Act with provisions that protect attendees from harm without penalizing promoters and venues for creating an environment where drug use is allowed but requires them to maintain a high standard of security and reaction teams for the safety of everyone.

It also proposes specific measures such as increased police presence for threats, not drugs; security checks treated like TSA; evacuation strategies distributed to attendees; overdose tents stocked with Narcan and trained professionals; and security staff made up of trained professionals, not minimum wage employees.

Beyond Wonderland is not the only music festival that has faced violence or tragedy in recent years. The petition mentions other incidents such as the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 that killed 58 people at a country music festival; the Bass Canyon 2022 festival in Washington that had a shooting scare; the Okeechobee 2022 festival in Florida where someone drowned; and numerous drug-related incidents at various festivals.

The petition argues that music festivals should be safe spaces where attendees can express themselves freely without fear of violence or harm. It urges people who share this belief to sign the petition and spread the word.

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