Baltimore City

Arrest, minor injuries, but no major incidents at Moonrise Music Festival

The second and final day of the first Moonrise Festival, the electronic dance music event that attracted thousands to Pimlico Race Course over the weekend, appeared to be running smoothly Sunday evening, city officials said.

At 9 p.m., a Baltimore Fire Department spokesman said 10 concertgoers had been transported to a hospital Sunday afternoon, all for minor injuries. Spokesman Ian Brennan said the medical needs of the crowd were what would be expected for an event of that size.


"There's still a few hours to go," Brennan said. "When it's over, we'll know the numbers."

A Baltimore Police Department spokesman said he was aware of no arrests on Sunday. Detective Jeremy Silbert said a 19-year-old man was arrested on drug charges Saturday.


The Moonrise Festival drew increased attention after the deaths of two attendees at an electronic dance music event the previous weekend in Columbia from what police believe were drug overdoses.

Twenty others at the Mad Decent Block Party, the event at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, were hospitalized. Police reported the use of MDMA, the drug also known as Ecstasy or Molly.

The Moonrise Festival, presented by Baltimore-based Steez Promo and Washington-based Glow, has no connection to the Mad Decent Block Party or the Hard Summer festival in Los Angeles, where another attendee died the same weekend of an apparent overdose.

Local anti-drug advocate Mike Gimbel called for Moonrise to be canceled. But city officials said canceling would be "short-sighted," and organizers pledged that safety would be their first priority.

The first Moonrise Festival, planned for last year at Port Covington in South Baltimore, was canceled weeks before the event was to open. City officials said organizers were unable to secure the necessary permits.

The festival was promoted last year as a successor to the long-running Starscape Festival. After safety problems at last year's Starscape event, including overcrowding and drug overdoses, city officials said that event could not return to Fort Armistead Park

There appeared to be more event staff and more rigorous security screening at the entrance on Sunday than there had been on Saturday. Security guards asked concertgoers to remove shoes, turn out pockets and empty bags.

From the stage, the artists gLAdiator and Djemba Djemba reminded attendees to keep drinking water.


Users of MDMA risk dehydration, one of the ways in which the drug can be lethal. There were lines for free water from two spouts, and event staff also carried water to give to concertgoers.

Freelance writer Tyler Almodovar contributed to this article.