Sasquatch '09: A Word of Caution

Don't get injured at an outdoor music festival. Or, to put it more precisely, don't get injured at an outdoor music festival if you're from the great white north and do not have personal insurance. Witness the plight of Robin Feagan, a University of Calgary student making her fourth trip to Sasquatch.

I'd first noticed Feagan as she limped towards the fence after the Monotonix show ended. She'd been standing in the scrum surrounding the band when, she says, a member of the Live Nation (the organizers behind Sasquatch) security team stepped on a few of her toes. She was later taken to an med-station where she was given Tylenol and her foot wrapped in a bandage.

Unfortunately for Feagan, the organizers did not see fit to outfit the aid station with crutches, nor could they arrange a ride for her back to her car, which was parked three miles from the venue. But even if Feagan had made it to an area hospital, she does not have travelers insurance, meaning that the cost to X-ray her possibly broken toes would have come out of pocket--money that she says she simply does not have. Moreover, leaving the venue would have cut short the festival for her and however many of her friends she could get to accompany her to the hospital (There's no re-entry at Sasquatch, kids). And with the trip back to Calgary some 11 hours by car, she decided to tough it out.

When last I saw her, she was standing behind the Wookie (mid-level) stage. Yonotan Gat, the drummer from Monotonix, had heard about the incident and given her a pass to get into the VIP area at the bottom of the hill near the main stage. Unfortunately, she was not able to get a ride back. So, with swollen toes she made the climb herself, arriving just in time to miss all but the last two minutes of Explosions in the Sky. Disappointed, she turned back towards the main stage.

"I'm not missing Ben Harper," she said before limping off.

My initial attempts to speak to a Live Nation official on medical policy for minor injuries were unsuccessful. More on this to come.

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