Gunfire curtailed Iola Rock Fest Part II
Continued from previous week: Click here
The grounds were messy, and “it got super hot during the day,” he said.
The promoters brought in a tanker truck for water but that emptied quickly and took awhile to refill, he said, and there was a lack of toilet facilities and no large trash containers for the garbage generated on the site.
People were sitting around on the ground, listening to the music or talking with others, he said.
There were lots of tents in the area, he said, and there were plenty of signs offering marijuana, hashish, Panama Red and other drugs for sale.
On Sunday morning, he and almost everyone else on the grounds were awakened by gunshots, he said, and many people left in a hurry.
“That one shot shook us, and started a stream of cars and motorcycles from there,” he said.
Kujawski said he grabbed his camera and went to find out what was happening and where, then continued taking pictures for the next day’s Journal.
The music had started late Friday afternoon, but problems with the sound system at first made it difficult for those at the far western end of the festival grounds to hear.
Later in the evening the problem was corrected.
The crowd was camped from the stage area back to woods, far from the stage at the western end of the festival grounds.
Some were camped in the parking areas, a good distance from the action.
Sanitation facilities seemed adequate for the crowd Friday afternoon and evening, because no long lines developed at the two rows of portable toilets.
St. Michael’s Hospital treated two youths Friday for “bad drug experiences and another for a broken collarbone suffered in a fall from a scaffold,” the Journal reported.
Two women were also treated as the result of complications from births prior to the festival.
A doctor from Madison, who was coordinating medical facilities for the festival, reported that two persons had attacks of appendicitis.
Rock music continued through the night Friday, and Sheriff Check said traffic was backed up two miles on County Trunk T south of the County Trunk MM entrance to the festival on Saturday.
Rows of drug-dealing concessions lined both sides of a dirt road that was the main thoroughfare for foot traffic from the parking area at the western end of the festival grounds.
One dealer operated under a large banner not far from the stage, advertising “Panama Red,” a name for high-quality marijuana, “$10 Lids,” meaning it was $10 an ounce.
With many patrons exiting the festival grounds Sunday morning, officials said about half of the estimated 45,000 festival goers had left the grounds by mid-afternoon.
The music continued past midnight, and there were still about 3,000 to 4,000 remaining at the heavily littered site Monday morning.
During Sunday’s violence, the crowd attacked several motorcycles and reportedly burned a few. There were also reports of rock throwing at the retreating cycle gang.
Three squad cars were damaged in a chain-reaction accident as authorities chased a truck carrying cycle gang members near the rockfest site.
The truck was later stopped, and the gang members taken into custody at gunpoint.
Authorities took 23 members of a Chicago-area cycle gang into custody in connection with violence that broke out Sunday morning.
Three other persons were arrested Sunday on disorderly conduct and theft charges.
Of the 26 arrested Sunday, 19 were men and seven were women.
Three persons were taken to St. Michael’s Hospital Sunday for treatment following the violence, which broke out after confrontations over a number of alleged rapes and strong-arm robberies by the cycle gang, Check said.
None of the shooting victims were seriously hurt. A Downers Grove, Ill., man, 19, and a Chicago man, 21, were hospitalized at St.Michael’s.
The third victim, a Madison man, 26, was taken to the Madison Veterans Administration Hospital.
The cycle gang also attacked a rockfest patron, an Evanston, Ill., man, 20,with a chain.
He was also hospitalized at St. Michael’s.
One person was killed and three injured in motor vehicle accidents near the festival grounds.
A Waukegan, Ill., man 25, suffered fatal head injuries Saturday afternoon on Highway 161 in Waupaca County near the rockfest site when his cycle ran into a cycle making a left turn in front of him.
The second cyclist was hospitalized.
A Davenport, Iowa, man, 18, suffered severe head injuries when he fell off the trunk of a car Sunday morning on County Trunk T in the town of New Hope.
He was one of four young men riding outside the car, when he fell and his head struck the pavement. He was taken to a Madison hospital.
Another motorcyclist, 24, from Waukegan, Ill., was thrown from a motorcycle while attempting to negotiate a curve on Highway 161 in the town of New Hope, just north of Nelsonville Saturday morning.
He was discharged from St. Michael’s Sunday.
A St. Paul, Minn., woman was rushed to St. Michael’s from the rockfest grounds in the early morning hours Sunday to give birth to a premature baby girl that died Monday morning.
The hospital also reported treating eight acute drug cases during the three-day event and one case of possible pneumonia.
“A nice big organized lawless drug party,” said Check late Sunday night as he summarized his impressions of the festival.
Next: The aftermath