Lehigh Valley

Officials: 50 hospitalized during rave party

Fallout continues from Lehigh rave

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Area hospitals now say around 50 people, mainly college students, came in with drug and alcohol overdoses following a rave party held on Lehigh University's campus.

The EMS director said some of those episodes were very serious.

Now, the school is defending its decision to allow a rave party in the first place.

It was billed as "The world's largest paint party" and while there were paint and DJs, there were also dozens of partygoers rushed to the hospital during Saturday night's rave event at the university's Rausch Field House.

Some now question whether it was appropriate for a college to allow a rave at a campus-owned arena.
"If I had a child that was going to that school, I would really wonder what the administration was thinking," said Liz Phillips of New Jersey.

The party was held by Dayglow, whose concerts have been the scene of drug arrests and overdoses in other cities.

A Lehigh spokesman said the school contacted other venues, including colleges, and was told the party was safe.

He said party promoter New Castle Entertainment assured the school of appropriate security.

A New Castle spokesman told 69 News, "All guests were patted down and bags were searched prior to entry.  Anything that guests may have done prior to coming to the event is not something we can control."

Several students who attended the event though told 69 News they saw clear drug use at the rave.

Northampton County's EMS director, expressing disappointment, said "It certainly caused a situation that didn't need to happen."

"You can always Monday morning quarterback or look and say, 'well, they should have known,' but you can't cover every base.  You can't shut down every frat party and every dance party," said Del Polie of Media.

The party promoter also said that Dayglow events have been held at more than 50 college campuses and that any large public event, like sporting events, creates challenges because "a certain percentage of fans go too far."

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