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22 hospitalized during, after Avicii concert

Updated 11:15 pm, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
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  • Swedish electro house DJ AVICII performed for a sold out floor at Webster...
  • Swedish electro house DJ AVICII performed for a sold out floor at Webster...
  • Swedish electro house DJ AVICII performed for a sold out floor at Webster...

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BRIDGEPORT -- Emergency medical technicians were baffled Tuesday when 22 people had to be hospitalized for various alcohol-related reasons during and after an Avicii concert at the Webster Bank Arena.

The number of those hospitalized after being entertained by the up-and-coming Swedish electronic musician was more than any local concert in recent memory, according to a spokeswoman at St. Vincent's Medical Center, which treated and released 12 patients.

"I can't remember a concert like this with so many," said spokeswoman Lucinda Ames.

All 12 of the concertgoers brought to St. Vincent's were treated and released, Ames said. Bridgeport Hospital had 10 people from the concert receiving treatment in its emergency department, according to spokesman John Cappiello. All but one had been released by Wednesday morning "and the last one will be leaving soon," he said. "Nobody had to be admitted."

Although EMTs had their hands full throughout the evening, police said no one was arrested. Nothing about Avicii, a Grammy-winning electronic musician from Sweden, would draw a crowd more likely to drink or use drugs, said Ross Atamian, spokesman for Midnite Society, the promoter. "At any live event you run the risk of that happening," he said.

But drunkeness and drug use have occurred in large numbers at past Avicii shows.

There were 34 arrests at his concert at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and the same number at a November show at Penn State, according to local news accounts of the concerts. Most of the arrests were for public intoxication.

Bridgeport police did not immediately provide the number of arrests during the Avicii concert. By way of comparison, there were 45 arrests over the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport last summer, an event that stretches out over four days and draws tens of thousands.

The promoter said the level of security was appropriate for Avicii's Bridgeport show. "We had our own security, the venue had security and the police were there," Atamian said. "We were fully compliant with everything."

Arena spokesman Mike Foley said the promoter and the arena each had security staff at the event and Bridgeport police were also present.

There were two bars serving draft and bottled beer, mixed drinks and wine -- one on the Arena's third level and one on the first, said a representative of Centerplate, the building's concessionaire. "We carded everyone," the Centerplate spokesman said. "In my opinion a lot of people had already been partying and tailgating when they showed up."

Atamian said that the show was not sold out, though others said that the floor area was full.

fjuliano@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com 203-520-6986

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