Promoter plans changes after underage kids intoxicated at concert

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by JASON WHITELY

WFAA

Posted on November 3, 2012 at 12:05 AM

DALLAS - The promoter for a band called Ghostland Observatory plans to change the age requirement for concertgoers after countless high school students were discovered intoxicated at the music event last weekend.

"I'm still angry," said Juan Lopez, 30. "It's really upsetting."

He said he's seen the two-man group perform dance music during an electronic light show at least five times. But what he and his wife saw on Saturday, Oct. 27, was different than any previous concert.

"We looked at each other and said we don't even want to have kids after this," Dina Lopez said.

This event happened at the Palladium Ballroom on South Lamar Street.

"Every year, it's usually been a college crowd," Juan added.

But the couple said that's not who attended this year. Instead, it was packed with hundreds of high schoolers who appeared either drunk or high, but clearly intoxicated.

"These were tiny, four-foot-nothing girls losing control of their bodies and not being able to walk on their own," Juan said.

"They were making out with other kids they just met," Dina added. "They were performing sexual acts right in front of us. They were insane. We've never seen anything like that before."

The Palladium Ballroom referred News 8 to AEG Live, the promoter for Ghostland Observatory.

AEG Live did not immediately respond to a phone message and e-mail seeking comment, but it did write the Mr. and Mrs. Lopez back admitting problems at the concert.

"Security spent a good deal of time that evening calling parents to pick up their children because they were being denied entry for intoxication," wrote Larry Fontana, AEG Live. "This was our fourth year to present Ghostland at the Palladium Ballroom and the first time for the very large number of under age guests being present."

This is the same concert where police said a Highland Park High School baseball player named Ryan Romo left with a girl he's accused of raping.

Dallas Fire-Rescue confirms it sent two ambulances there during the concert. The Lopez's said one was for a boy who got into a fight, and the other rescued a girl who collapsed on the dance floor.

The couple said event staff never stepped in, which left them surprised more kids weren't hurt.

"The actions of the employees you observed is unacceptable and is being looked in to," Fontana continued. "In all likelihood Ghostland will be the last electronic dance event at the Palladium without an 18-or-over restriction. More and more venues around the country are moving in that direction, because this is not just a problem encountered in Dallas."

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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