January 24, 2018
Monday, March 20, 2017

Tragic deaths at Indio Solari concert spark investigation

People are pressed against the security barricade in the mosh pit area during a show of Argentine singer Indio Solari in Olavarria, Argentina, March 11, 2017.
The deaths of two concertgoers in Olavarría last weekend has sparked a judicial investigation about the criminal responsibility, if any, of musicians, producers, police and municipal authorities over the safety measures at concerts and a judicial investigation.
Instead of the maximum of 155,000 people that was recommended for the Indio Solari concert in Olavarría, at least 300,000 people attended the concerning according to estimates, overwhelming the small provincial city but also organisers and the limited security in the concert area. The concert area known as La Colmena measures 520 by 300 metres, or 156,000 square metres, enough for each person attending to have a square metre to themselves had the numbers been respected.
However, overcrowding at the concert was witnessed with problems near the stage such as people falling to the ground unconscious, and the musicians stopping the show to ask those in the crowd to be careful. Juan Francisco Bulacio, 36, and Javier León, 42, died in the crowd, and while toxicology screens have found traces of alcohol and drugs in their systems, there has yet to be a definitive ruling on whether their deaths are attributable to overcrowding or the pushing and shoving that was witnessed on the night of the concert. Preliminary tests did not show evidence of trauma due to overcrowding.
So far, Matías and Marcos Peuscovich of En Vivo S.A — the producers and organisers of the show — have been charged in relation to the deaths as prosecutors are seeking to determine if they had any criminal responsibility. Raids have been conducted on their hotel rooms as well as in the offices of their company. Paper records, contracts and computers were seized and sent to Prosecutor Susana Alonso, in charge of the case.
In the same case, Solari has testified as a witness as has Ezequiel Galli, the Let’s Change (Cambiemos) mayor of Olavarría. Galli has denied any wrongdoing but the municipality’s active role in supporting the organisation of the concert and the lack of logistical support before and after the concern has come under scrutiny. Municipal councillors are looking for ways to review the mayor’s participation in the negotiation of the contracts involved in the show.
After the show there was looting and disruption as thousands of youths were left stranded in Olavarría as buses left them behind. They were eventually perilously ferried back on dump trucks arranged for by the municipality.
The charges that the Peuscovich brothers and possibly others will face will depend on the final autopsy report, as if coroners can conclusively find that the deaths were not due to any overcrowding they will only face accusations about failing to control access to the concert.

Music and business
La Nación has reported that En Vivo may have taken in US$10 million in ticket sales and is yet to pay the two percent royalty to the municipality. Olavarría is also on the hook for extra cleaning services and the transport of stranded concertgoers by way of long-distance buses. Residents are seeking compensation for the damage as a result of the looting and there has been criticism of the rental of La Colmena for a total of 375,000 pesos — about the cost of 375 tickets.
Solari, lead singer of Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota until it broke up, has continued on as a soloist and is known for staging huge outdoor events and has worked with En Vivo in the past.

— Herald staff with Télam
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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia