Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tragedy At I Wanna Be Festival

Tragic news to bring you from Rio. A 25-year-old man died at the I Wanna Be festival that took place on Saturday 9th, March.

During the festival at Riocentro in Rio de Janeiro, 25-year-old João Vinícius Ferreira Simões was tragically electrocuted while sheltering from the rain. The heavy rainfall contributed to the accident. The incident occurred when João Vinícius came into contact with an energised food truck, resulting in an electric shock. He later passed away in hospital, despite attempts to save his life.

Vinicius Bragança, a student of architecture and urbanism, was near the incident site. He recounted to Brazilian news outlet Agência Brasil, “The area was partially flooded, and frequent lightning strikes were occurring nearby”. Upon reaching the food court, he witnessed employees raising alarms. He observed João Vinícius lying by a food truck, immobile with his arms crossed.

Vinicius stated that the staff assisting the victim and the event’s organising company, 30e, displayed unpreparedness for such an incident. He noted a delay in taking the necessary actions needed to aid the electrocuted individual, secure the area, and ensure the safety of attendees and staff.

“Three employees arrived to inspect the food truck. I began shouting urgently, urging them to evacuate everyone from the vicinity of all food trucks. The surroundings were wet and flooded, and the exposed wires were submerged. I believe this led to the electric shock that harmed the young man. The employees seemed still determining how to respond. After my insistence, they directed people to move away and used event trash cans to cordon off the area.”

“It took approximately 15 to 20 minutes after my initial outcry for the power supply to the food trucks to be disconnected,” Vinicius recounted. “From the outset of the incident, I noticed a lack of preparedness. I did not see any medical team in identifiable uniforms; only personnel dressed in black appeared to be involved in event maintenance.”

Reports from the Municipal Hospital Lourenço Jorge in Barra da Tijuca indicated that the patient arrived in cardiac arrest and, unfortunately, did not survive.

Regarding the production company, 30e, responsible for the I Wanna Be Tour event, they released an official statement via social media. The company claimed adherence to safety protocols as the rain intensified during the event. They released a statement claiming that the security team promptly responded to assist and rescue the victim, with medical staff that was present at the festival in an attempt to save João Vinícius’ life.

“30e, the event’s production company, deeply regrets the incident and is cooperating with authorities in the investigation. Initial information indicates compliance with food truck operation standards. The company has contacted the young man’s family to offer condolences and extend all necessary support.”

I was at this event personally, covering this event for Counteract as a feature. I will still be giving my thoughts on the band’s performances and my time there, but I have decided to wait a while to avoid being disrespectful. I did not see the event occur, but I can confirm the rain was hefty, and the conditions were that of very extreme weather.

All my condolences to this young lad’s family and friends. No one should go to a concert and not come back.