TD Garden leaders meet with police after dozens fell ill

Less than a week after dozens of young concertgoers were treated for drug and alcohol-related illnesses at an electronic music show at TD Garden, arena executives met with Boston police officials Tuesday.

Municipal leaders released few details about the closed-door conference at police headquarters in Roxbury, though Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the city is not considering a ban on electronic dance music.

Walsh said in a statement that the meeting was called for officials, including the police commissioner, “to discuss the concert event last week and to explore ways to improve our response to similar events and circumstances.”


“This isn’t about pointing fingers at a venue or a type of music, but rather about coming together as partners and figuring out the best ways to keep people safe,” Walsh said.

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A spokeswoman for TD Garden declined to comment.

Last Wednesday, about 50 people who police said appeared impaired — most between the ages of 16 and 25 — were treated at TD Garden during a performance by the popular Swedish DJ Avicii. Another 36 were taken to hospitals for treatment of minor illnesses, authorities said.

They said the extra pure form of ecstasy known as Molly might have contributed to many of the ailments.

City officials cited TD Garden for having intoxicated minors at the show, and the mayor called the incident “disturbing and concerning.’


Authorities said last week that they arrested five people for selling drugs, including Molly, before the show.

Police Commissioner William B. Evans said in a statement Tuesday that, “Measures were in place before, during, and after the event that worked well in identifying, treating, and transporting affected patrons.”

He said “it was the focus of this meeting to find ways to improve those measures and better prepare for future events.”

A police spokesman said representatives from the city’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing were also present at the meeting. That department referred all questions to the mayor’s office.

Electronic dance music has received scrutiny in the last few years after a number of drug-related incidents at concerts. A 19-year-old woman from New Hampshire died after a show at the House of Blues last August, apparently from a Molly overdose.


Ron Quaranto, chief operating officer of Cataldo Ambulance Service Inc., which handles emergency medical operations at TD Garden, said officials from his company were not at the meeting Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Boston EMS, which responded to TD Garden last week because of the large number of people in need of treatment, also said representatives from her office did not attend.

The next major electronic music performance in the city, according to concert calendars, is July 29 when the popular artist Skrillex is set to headline a show at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the Seaport District.

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ZackSampson.