The Mad Tea Party Jam in Artemis, Pennsylvania, this past weekend saw attendees, artists and staff fall ill to sicknesses that sent several people to the hospital and prevented performances.
The event was held at Four Quarters Farm where WickerMan Burn was held the weekend prior from June 8-11. Similarly, that event saw a number of attendees get sick with reported stomach issues. The outbreaks have not been officially linked and no official cause of either weekend’s illnesses has yet been announced.
On Saturday night at the Mad Tea Party Jam, headliner Papadosio canceled their third and final performance of the weekend due to three of the band’s five members falling ill. The festival announced the news with a post, saying they were “sorry to disappoint and take these health issues very seriously.”
According to NYS Music, Mad Tea Party also released a statement on Sunday via social media that has since been deleted:
“Despite our best efforts to maintain the health safety of our patrons, people were falling ill. We ourselves are seeking any and all answers. The Pennsylvania Center of Epidemiology has been contacted by the venue in order to properly ascertain what has happened this past weekend. In order to better understand and identify the issue and better yet, how to fix this issue, we are openly asking people to report their own health issues to the Pennsylvania board of health. Please call this number in order to aid us. 1-877-PA HEALTH”
Billboard has reached out to the festival for comment but did not hear back at time of publishing.
One attendee who was taken to the emergency room during the festival told NYS Music she was given a dysentery diagnosis, which is a broad term for stomach viruses accompanied by bloody stools. She is reportedly still awaiting test results to further explain her sickness.
A possible diagnosis that has been floated around online but has not been substantiated is norovirus, which is transmitted by food or water contaminated with fecal matter, person-to-person contact, inhaling particles carrying the virus and contamination of surfaces.
Brooke Lown of Richmond, Virginia, who became ill early Saturday told NYS Music, “It’s really upsetting and makes me feel like we are going to have to try hard for this to be taken seriously and be addressed. They are all trying to play it off like we don’t have personal hygiene and are just some dirty hippies who are always bound to get this sick at fests.”