Man Found Dead At Bonnaroo Festival; Police Await Autopsy Results

Friends of David Ottman said he suffered from a breathing disorder.

The body of a 32-year-old Huntsville, Alabama, man was discovered on Saturday morning at the site of this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, marring the fourth-annual weekend-long event’s otherwise celebratory mood. According to a report in the Huntsville Times, police identified the man as David Ottman, the son of a former Huntsville police chief; an official cause of death has not been determined, pending the results of an autopsy.

Hospital officials told The Associated Press that Ottman’s friends informed them that he suffered from sleep apnea, a medical disorder in which the throat passage is narrow and becomes blocked by the throat muscles when they relax, cutting off the supply of oxygen. Police officials said no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at Ottman’s campsite Saturday morning, and there were no apparent signs of trauma.

Emergency medical personnel tried to revive Ottman but, according to one hospital worker, “He was already pretty blue by the time we got on the scene. So he had probably been dead for a while.”

Ottman’s was the only reported death during this year’s Bonnaroo event, which attracted more than 75,000 fans (see “Bonnaroo Kicks Out The Jams Thanks To Dave Matthews, John Mayer — And Bo Bice” ). Two festival-goers died last year of apparent overdoses — a first for the festival, launched back in 2002 (see “Two Fans Die At Bonnaroo Music Festival” ). Bonnaroo organizers hired additional emergency personnel for this year’s outing.

Held over the weekend in Manchester, Tennessee, the festival featured performances by the Dave Matthews Band, former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, Modest Mouse, the Mars Volta, Jack Johnson, the Black Crowes and others (see “Modest Mouse, Dave Matthews Band Top Bonnaroo 2005 Bill” ).