Concerts, MotherLode keep cops busy
September 3, 2002
Area law enforcement and medical staff were busy this weekend as two major events flooded Aspen with a few thousand end-of-season visitors.
Sunday night’s continuation of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, featuring folk/rock legend Bob Dylan on the Buttermilk stage, recorded the biggest crowd ever for a JAS-related event. Some 8,000 fans turned out for Dylan’s first Aspen appearance. On the other side of town, the MotherLode Volleyball Classic attracted over 650 teams for five days of beach volleyball action.
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Mario Strobl was just one of many officers assigned to cover JAS festival activities. Strobl said sheriff’s deputies and Aspen police officers were busy with extra weekend patrols but weren’t overwhelmed by raucous visitors.
“The weekend as a whole has been pretty good. We were pleasantly surprised,” he said. “I believe [Aspen police] they were busy, too, but nothing unusual. Hopefully everybody’s happy.”
Strobl reported that Sunday’s Dylan crowd, which included repeat visitors to the festival beer tents, even behaved for the most part.
“It was pretty big, but everything went pretty smooth,” he said.
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Sunday night’s concerts did have a few medical emergencies. Witnesses reported that a woman suffering from alcohol poisoning received medical assistance not long after Dylan finished his set. A second woman who had collapsed after the show was also cared for by waiting ambulance technicians.
A group of concertgoers waiting for Aspen-bound RFTA buses saw a man collapse after an apparent stroke less than an hour after the Sunday night show. The man, a resident of Parachute, was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction late Sunday for treatment, according to a house supervisor at Aspen Valley Hospital. He was listed in critical condition.
The Aspen hospital official declined to comment on whether there was an increase in emergency-room traffic as a result of the weekend’s festivities.
[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is email@example.com]