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Victoria Callahan, 19, died early on the morning of June 11 after reportedly ingesting molly, a form of MDMA popular in the electronic dance scene, while attending a Flume concert at Woodridge music venue Echostage. Callahan is the third Echostage patron to die while attending a concert—University of Virginia student Shelley Goldsmith collapsed at the club in September 2013, and Cody Tjaden died in January after a fall from the balcony.
DanceSafe, a national public health organization that aims to reduce drug misuse and create safe spaces within venues that host EDM shows, has now launched a six-question survey to determine the level of comfort and crowding at Echostage in hopes of establishing a set of guidelines that will better support venues nationwide.
One of the biggest causes of MDMA-related medical emergencies, the survey notes, is heatstroke. With a maximum occupancy of 2,000 people (more than twice that of the 9:30 Club and four times that of U Street Music Hall), the temperature at Echostage can quickly rise and access to exits or cooler spots can be hard to find during sold-out shows. DanceSafe’s survey asks visitors to rank the temperature, crowding, access to free water, and cool-down spaces at Echostage. According to DanceSafe, regular visitors to Echostage have complained about its lack of facilities in the past.
The investigation into Callahan’s death is ongoing, but the club is continuing to operate as usual, hosting a show by Morrissey tonight and a performance by Dutch DJ R3hab on Saturday. Its only comment about the June 10 incident was posted on Facebook.
Photo courtesy Echostage