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Two dead at Wonderfruit, police investigation ongoing

Casualties raise concern over safety and security at large events

  • Words: Mixmag Asia | Photo: Chatchawan Jaksuwong
  • 23 December 2022
Two dead at Wonderfruit, police investigation ongoing

Wonderfruit opened its gates for the first time in three years last weekend. From Thursday afternoon to midday Monday, attendees in the thousands frolicked in The Fields, rushing to and from the stages to watch an abundance of acts spread across its site.

On the second day of the event, there was word spreading around that people passed away at Wonderfruit. Upon hearing this, it came as no surprise that security upon entrance was heightened on day two. Officers were unzipping every bag and wallet compartment while conducting stricter body checks compared to day one.

Chonburi’s Nong Prue Police Station confirmed that an Indonesian national was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead in the early hours of Saturday due to a heart attack

The second fatality was confirmed to be a Swiss national and Bangkok-based DJ. When found not responsive to resuscitation conducted by his friends, festival medics were alerted. A shift supervisor at Bangkok Pattaya Hospital confirmed the DJ was pronounced dead at the hospital when he was brought there around 5 am on Friday.

During the festival and over the last few days, members of Asia’s DJ community and close friends took to social media to pay their respects through tribute posts.

A memorial service was held for the Swiss DJ on Thursday, December 22, where family and many members of the Thai DJ community paid their respects to the deceased artist. As for the attendee from Indonesia, his body has been flown back to Bali awaiting a cremation ritual that’s set to take place on Monday, December 26.

The Wonderfruit team mention “We are deeply saddened to have learnt that two attendees who fell ill on Friday passed away around late evening at Pattaya Memorial Hospital, while the other passed away in the early hour of Saturday morning at Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.”

They also underline how investigations are currently underway to determine the actual causes of death, working closely with the authorities to help with any queries.

The festival has also released a statement on their website.

Wonderfruit organisers have spoken with Mixmag Asia to give a more clear understanding of their safety and security measures.

According to their statement, there were “400 health and security personnel hired throughout the event, that includes medical, standby, nurses, volunteer doctors and EMTs. On Friday, approximately 15,000 attendees were on site, and on Saturday there were 15,100. We were working on the festival based on historical results, and we knew there would be a 50% increase in attendees.”

“In previous years, we've been able to allocate medical services in the right way, we've never had challenges like this. The last event (2019), we had 240 - 250 health and security.”

They continued to state that there were four ambulances and four medical tents across the site, which is 140 acres; of which 90-100 was used for the event. The organisers also told Mixmag Asia that “everything we're doing, we're checking with the family first.”

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