A 62-year-old man died after apparently falling in a mosh pit during Slipknot’s “Knotfest Roadshow” concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois, over the weekend.
Patch.com reports that Richard Valadez of Zion, Illinois, was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m. on Sunday night (August 11th). While there is no official cause of death, as results of an autopsy are still pending, witnesses say that Valadez was knocked to the ground in a mosh pit near section 206 of the outdoor venue.
Fellow concert-goers say that some mosh pits formed in the lawn section at the back of the venue, and that Valadez had joined in on a few of them. At one point, about an hour into Slipknot’s set, while the band was performing “Sulfur”, Valadez was apparently hit hard and fell out of the pit and onto the grass.
“He seized as people were trying to help him up, so we start calling for help,” said Anthony Mackey, who added that he and other concertgoers tried to push back the crowd to protect Valadez while he was on the ground.
Two unidentified men reportedly attempted CPR on Valadez, with witnesses saying it took 15 to 25 minutes for emergency personnel to arrive because of the large crowd, loud noise and general confusion surrounding the incident. “They definitely should have handled things better: More emergency presence for one. And a better way for people to alert that they need help,” said another witness, Brittany Ruel-Curtis.
When contacted about the emergency response, Tinley Park Fire Chief Forest Reeder said, “The Fire Department was not present for this incident at the amphitheater as the emergency medical services are provided by a private contractor for any on-site emergencies.”
Prior to the tragic incident, witnesses say Valdez appeared to be having a good time at the show. “He seemed fine throughout the concert, though, enjoying the music and drinks and talking to the people who sat in front of me,” said Ruel-Curtis.
Slipknot’s mosh pits have proven particularly violent during this run of tour dates. At a show in San Bernardino, California last month, frontman Corey Taylor went as far as to halt the show until the band’s fans calmed down.
The band’s “Knotfest Roadshow” summer tour, which also features Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth, continues through a September 8th show at The Woodlands, Texas.