17-year-old still in hospital after taking club drug at Skylab festival
DENVER — A Denver teenager remained in the hospital Thursday after allegedly taking the club drug Molly at an electronic dance music festival on Saturday.
Bianca Garten, 17, was placed on life support after attending Skylab, a long-running annual EDM festival held at the Denver Coliseum. Garten’s core temperature was 108 degrees and her heart was racing at 165 beats per minute, her father Keith Roehm said. She also had to be resuscitated on two occasions.
“My daughter died in front of us twice!” Roehm wrote online.
FOX 31 Denver does not typically release the names of minors on our own. An exception was made in this case since the family has publicly released Garten’s identity.
According to social media posts, Garten has since regained consciousness. She was reportedly off of life support, but still experiencing some kidney problems. Her condition and prognosis were not clear.
Molly, an empathogenic drug containing MDMA, is generally considered a more pure form of Ecstasy. However, as with any street drug, it’s impossible for users to know what substances may have been added as adulterants to “cut” the drug before sale.
MDMA is illegal in the United States.
Online, and in discussions with FOX31 Denver and other media outlets, Roehm has blamed “rave” culture for luring minors into dangerous situations. He has no problem with adults participating in the events, he said, but believes Skylab made a mistake in allowing teens 16 and older into the event.
“This could be your child,” he wrote on Facebook. “Mine was responsible and did well in school. These raves are death peddlers…”
Roehm also said that other minors at Skylab were sickened by a “bad batch” of Molly, and that the event ran out of drinking water. Neither claim could be substantiated, though some people responding to Roehm’s statements online said both were true.
Skylab’s producer, Global Dance, puts on a variety of EDM events throughout the year, including the internationally known Global Dance Festival. The company issued a statement on Bianca Garten’s situation:
“We are keeping her and her family in our thoughts and prayers through what is clearly a difficult time. Over the last 15 years, health and safety has always been our top priority, which is why we engage local law enforcement, the fire department, and other agencies months in advance to plan an event that fans can enjoy in a safe environment. This includes on-site medical staff, many water and beverage vendors as well as the presence of police personnel and private security.
“While we cannot control the choices that individuals make prior to entry into the event, while inside our show we maintain a strict zero-tolerance policy in regard to illegal substances. We ask our fans to remember that split second decisions can have life altering implications for them, their family and their friends. It’s simply not worth it.”