Safety might not be a word in DJ Steve Aoki’s vocabulary.
Steve Aoki’s known for a lot of things in his concerts: acrobatic crowd surfing stunts, throwing cake at fans, and riding rafts on the dance floor. The popular EDM DJ is no stranger to the legal system, either. He’s been taken to court before for his on-stage antics (where he reached a $10.7 million settlement outside of court.) This time, however, it’s not Aoki who’s facing trouble.
Spanish News Today is reporting that Steve Aoki’s Spanish promoter Miguel Ángel Flores has been sentenced to four years in prison for having organized the Halloween 2012 EDM event that led to the deaths of five concertgoers: Cristina Arce, Katia Esteban, Rocío Oño, Belén Langdon, and Teresa Alonso. They were aged 17 to 20.
Flores was found guilty of five counts of negligent homicide and 29 counts of causing harm through serious negligence. Flores wasn’t alone; the court has also found that fourteen other people were also responsible. They were given sentences from 30 months to three years. Courts found that Flores knowingly oversold the event.
The tragedy took place on October 31, 2012 in the Madrid Arena. Spanish concertgoers were enjoying the party event with the Arena jam-packed. Outside the main building, young people were enjoying open-air drinking known as a botellón party in Spain, where all participants bring their own alcohol to the event.
According to eyewitness reports, when the arena doors opened, thousands of young people pushed their way into the arena, causing a stampede that immediately killed Belén Langdon. The stampede caused two safety factors to be ignored: venue maximum limits and the age limit. Langdon was only 17, despite the event holding an age limit of 18 and above.
Another factor that led to this tragedy was that only one exit point had been provided, with other exits being sealed off to prevent young people from trying to sneak their way in. Also, there was an insufficient amount of security guards available for the amount of people that Flores and others had sold the event for.
Medical coverage was also insufficient for the amount of concertgoers who had purchased tickets, which led to two of the concertgoers passing away at the scene instead of having possibly been resuscitated. Hundreds of attendees had suffered broken bones, cuts, and bruises. The other three women passed away in a hospital.
The prosecution had asked for four years for each person who had died, but the Spanish court ruled otherwise, sentencing Flores to only four years for all five deaths. Flores has already announced his intention to appeal the sentence.
Spanish website El Mundo is reporting that despite the four year prison sentence, Flores is planning to re-open what was once the crown jewel of his nightlife empire: The Macumba. This nightclub will open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays up until 5:30 a.m. This apparently is Flores’s attempt to “revolutionize” the Spanish nightlife scene.
The prison sentence has only “slightly” delayed his plans to open The Macumba, pushing the opening date back to October 14. Sources close to Flores say that he’s having difficulty signing international artists due to the controversy surrounding his prison sentence.