Two people were killed and three others injured in a shooting that took place at campgrounds outside of The Gorge in Washington during the Beyond Wonderland Festival over the weekend. The festival cancelled its planned second day of performances in the wake of the incident, which is being investigated.
“On behalf of the entire Insomniac family, we extend our heartfelt thoughts and condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the victims,” says Pasqualle Rotella of Insomniac Events, which manages the festival. “The loss of two lives, as well as the injuries sustained by others, is an incredibly heartbreaking tragedy.”
Early reports from the scene say that the shooting took place at approximately 8:25 p.m. in a camping area near the festival grounds at the venue. The suspected shooter walked away from the scene at first, but was tracked down after firing “randomly” into the crowd as he fled. He is in custody, but no details on the suspect, or reasons behind the shooting, have been released.
The festival continued on for the rest of its first day, but the second day was called off on Sunday morning. Saturday’s lineup featured performances from artists Dillon Francis and Flosstradamus, and Sunday’s lineup was set to feature Marshmello and Afrojack.
“Due to the incident that took place in the overflow camping area last night, we regret to inform you that Day 2 of Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge has been cancelled,” read the announcement of the decision posted to social media on Sunday. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the local authorities and staff who acted quickly to manage the situation. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends, and all those affected by this tragic event.”
— Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge (@BeyondWlandPNW) June 18, 2023
Beyond Wonderland has been held at multiple locations on the west coast since it debuted in 2010. The electronic dance music festival has been held in San Bernadino, Seattle, Oakland and Mountain View at various points. It played its first edition at The Gorge – about two miles east of Seattle in central Washington state, in 2021. It returned in June of last year and was in the middle of its third run at the picturesque amphitheater over the weekend when the shooting took place.
“This tragedy has deeply affected me,” Rotella said. “As the organizer of this event, my intention has always been to bring people together and celebrate our shared love for music and community. I am at a loss to comprehend how individuals can commit such heinous acts. Throughout 30 years of organizing events, we have brought together millions of people without any incidents of this nature. 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 agains the spirit of unity, love and respect that we strive to foster within our community.”
Pasquale Rotella has released an official statement following the shooting at the Beyond Wonderland campgrounds at The Gorge on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/KOF4iUDb4j
— Dancing Astronaut (@dancingastro) June 19, 2023
On Monday, Electric Forest, another Insomniac-managed dance festival, released updated security plans for this weekend in Michigan.
Last Updated on June 19, 2023