This weekend Dave Matthews returns to the Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington for his annual three-day concert. But it won't be much of a holiday for doctors at a local hospital.
The Quincy Valley Medical Center says this summer there's been only a small decline in concert goers coming to the ER.
The Gorge Amphitheater in rural Grant County becomes a small city during weekend music festivals. And the Quincy hospital has the closest ER to the music venue.
Dr. Fernando Dietsch said even though total numbers have dropped, he's still seeing a lot of the severe cases.
“They come in intubated, ones that are heavily narcotic or alcohol or both overdosed where they have to be restrained,” Dietsch said. “You know, also broken bones, sprained ankles, head injuries.”
Dietsch said the Dave Matthews Band weekend tends to be less problematic than some of the other festivals, like Sasquatch.
Administrators at the hospital in Quincy are asking concert producer Live Nation to help cover $400,000 in additional staffing costs and unpaid medical bills from last year. The hospital said Live Nation has not yet responded.
The promoter did not offer comment for this story.
Meanwhile, the Washington Health Department is also interested in how this weekend goes – but for other reasons. It's been asking for data on whether the decades-old sewage system that serves the main buildings at the Gorge is over capacity.