Greensboro police are raising concerns about public safety after a Bassnectar concert at the Greensboro Coliseum on New Year’s Eve resulted in a number of drug overdoses — including one that was fatal.
Greensboro police said 43-year-old Tam Phan was found dead after the concert at the Comfort Suites on Isler Road in Greensboro. An officer who worked the event, which was attended by 22,000 people, said evidence inside the room linked the man to being at the concert. Police said planning took place prior to the concert after they got a heads-up from police in Hampton, Virginia, who according to WXII 12’s source, told the Greensboro Police Department “it could be the worst night of their lives.”
Guilford County Emergency Medical Services said most of the calls for service that night were for people who were sick or had decreased levels of consciousness. Six of those patients had to be taken to the hospital because their conditions were too grim. A police officer said one patient was naked and combative with authorities, and eventually became unconscious when he arrived at Wesley Long Hospital. Coliseum staff members said this was the third-largest concert in venue history. Paradocs, which provides medical assistance for large events, was also involved in the concert’s preplanning efforts.
Paradocs did not respond to WXII’s repeated requests for an interview after claims were made that triage rooms were set up inside the Coliseum prior to the concert in expectation of a large number of overdose patients. Guilford County 911 records show a handful of calls that night, admitting most were handled by the on-site staff.
The ones in their system though show six overdoses and 11 calls for an unconscious or sick person. There were also four calls regarding assaults, three being sexual in nature. The most jarring statement on the log is one placed at 1:43 a.m. following the concert. The caller said she thought her friend was dying.
“I’m with somebody who is passed out, possibly dying, on the ground,” the caller said.
Police officers said they want to know when does the value of life outweigh the profit a concert makes, and why did the city allow this performance to take place despite advice from other departments about the troubles they had.
The city of Greensboro, the Police Department and coliseum staff all refused on-camera interviews. The mayor has not responded to repeated requests as well.