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The audience at the Akvamarin festival won't soon forget the special effects.
Photo: Ilya Pitalev
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July 14, 2008
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Blinded by the Light at Techno Concert
More than 30 audience members at the Akvamarin festival of techno music outside Kirzhach, Vladimir Region, on July 6 may have received permanent injuries at the event. Patients are still coming into hospitals with burns to the retina received at that concert, presumably when a laser was turned on the public. Some of the patients have lost up to 80 percent of their vision and doctors do not expect to be able to restore their sight. The patients range in age from 16 to 30 and have identical symptoms. They are mainly being treated at the Clinical Ophthalmological Hospital and 32nd city hospital in Moscow.
According to the injured, about 1000 people gathered near Novogireevo Metro station to be taken to the open-air concert by bus. The concert was advertised on fans websites. Because there was heavy rain on the night of July 5, a tent was raised over the dance floor and the lazer sometimes was turned from the sky onto the audience. I remember the moment when the lazer got into my eyes well, recounted one participant. I immediately had a spot like when you look at the sun for a long time. I didnt give it much thought it worked for two days and thought it would go away by itself. On the third day, I decided to stop into the hospital on my way to work. They looked at me, asked if I had been at the open-air concert and admitted me without even letting me go home for my things.

Users of psychotrance.ru report that their cameras and video recorders were damaged. Moscow police say it will be difficult to find the organizers of the concert, Cosmic Connection promotional company. They promised to send an enquiry to the Kizhach department, however. Kommersant spoke one of the organizers, who is known to local fans as DJ Sashi. He said that the company that was hired to do laser shows had all the safety certificates, but the laser was occasionally pointed at the audience during the light show.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of July 14, 2008

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