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Beyond Wonderland boss issues statement following shooting at festival

By | Published on Tuesday 20 June 2023

Beyond Wonderland

Founder and CEO of Insomniac Events, Pasquale Rotella, has issued a statement following a shooting at the company’s Beyond Wonderland festival in the US state of Washington at the weekend, which left two dead and three injured.

“This tragedy has affected me deeply”, wrote Rotella in an Instagram post. “As the organiser of this event, my intention has always been to bring people together and celebrate our shared love of music and community. I am at a loss to understand how individuals can commit such heinous acts”.

The incident took place in one of the camping areas at the dance music festival on Saturday evening, during the first day of the event, which takes place at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Grant County, Washington.

Detailing what happened, Rotella went on: “We know that the shooting took place in the furthest campground from The Gorge Amphitheatre, which is designated for overflow camping and located a half a mile outside the perimeter of the main festival grounds”.

“It is our understanding that the incident stemmed from an isolated situation that escalated, leading the assailant to flee the area”, he added. “An officer involved-shooting then occurred to neutralise the event”.

Although the second day of the festival was cancelled, Rotella noted that “many have questioned why the [first day] continued during and after the incident”. He explained that the decision to continue with the event had been made “at the request of law enforcement once it became evident that there was no ongoing threat to the safety of attendees”.

“This was also done to ensure the majority of attendees stayed away from the campground area where the incident took place”, he continued. “Our staff worked in close coordination with local authorities to secure the area, while also preserving it for investigators to conduct their work in a smaller, isolated section”.

“Throughout 30 years of organising events, we have brought together millions of people without any incidents of this nature”, he concluded.

“I hold a profound love for our community and deeply value the principles that define our culture. This incident stands in stark contrast to everything we stand for – it goes against the spirit of love, unity and respect we strive to foster within our community”.

At a press conference, Kyle Foreman of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said that a person had fired “randomly” into crowds in the campsite before being apprehended. The incident remains under police investigation.