Autopsy results inconclusive in Las Vegas music festival death

Fans react as Gareth Emery performs during the 18th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Fans react as Gareth Emery performs during the 18th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Toxicology tests will be performed to determine the cause of death of a 24-year-old Bay Area man at an electronic music festival in Las Vegas over the weekend, a coroner’s official said after an autopsy Sunday yielded inconclusive results.

Montgomery Tsang, of San Leandro, collapsed shortly after sunrise Saturday outside the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he was among more than 130,000 fans at the Electric Daisy Carnival, a three-day dusk-to-dawn music party.

He died at a local hospital about 6:15 a.m., said Jennifer Jacobs, a senior investigator with the Clark County coroner. It was not known how long it would take to complete the tests for drugs or others substances in Tsang’s system that might have contributed to his death, Jacobs said.

Tsang’s family could not be reached for comment Sunday.


A spokeswoman for Insomniac, the company that stages the festival, expressed condolences for Tsang’s death but said the festival would continue as planned until Monday.

“We are deeply saddened by this news, and hope that everyone will join us in keeping his family and friends in their thoughts during this very difficult time,” Jennifer Forkish said in a statement.

Once home to a fringe group of electronic music fans, the festival has ballooned into a national event since it was founded in Los Angeles in the late 1990s. Tsang’s is the latest in a series of deaths in recent years at the festival widely known as EDC.

A 15-year-old girl died of an Ecstasy overdose after attending the event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2010.

The next year, Insomniac moved the EDC from Los Angeles to Las Vegas following The Times’ disclosures of financial improprieties involving the company and the stadium manager. Two people died at the event in Las Vegas in 2012.

And last September, a 22-year-old Los Angeles City College student died after attending an Insomniac rave in San Bernardino County. He was at least the 16th person nationwide to die of drug-related causes since 2006 after attending raves produced by Insomniac or another L.A.-based promoter, Go Ventures Inc., according to coroner and police records reviewed by The Times. Most of the dead were in their teens or 20s.

Insomniac is not the only backer of electronic music festivals to grapple with deaths and injuries. Last year, the final day of New York City’s Electric Zoo festival, by Made Event, was canceled after two people died and four others were hospitalized.

The decision to end that event early was made after New York City officials recommended cancellation due to “serious health risks.” They said at the time that the drug MDMA, which can exacerbate pre-existing heart conditions or cause a body’s core temperature to rise, appeared to be involved.

Twitter: @joelrubin

Times staff writers Kim Christensen and Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.