Three Sexual Assaults Reported, 1,000 Arrested At Radio Festival

Concert near Minneapolis featured Everclear, Stone Temple Pilots, Slipknot, others.

SOMERSET, Wis. — Three women reported sexual assaults, and more than 1,000 people were arrested at or near the three-day 93X-Fest, held outside Minneapolis over Memorial Day weekend, officials said.

St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said the vast majority of the arrests involved drunken-driving charges, underage consumption of alcohol, possession of controlled substances and disorderly conduct. Police made 150 arrests at the site, while an additional 875 were arrested near the event grounds.

The concert was held at the Float-Rite Campgrounds in the small town of Somerset. The sheriff's office said that attendance was estimated between 20,000 and 29,000 for each day of the festival, which included such hard-rock acts as Everclear, Stone Temple Pilots, Slipknot, Godsmack, Sevendust and Staind.

One of the reported sexual assaults involves a 25-year-old woman who said her boyfriend left her alone and intoxicated in a sleeping bag. She said that early Sunday morning she was assaulted by two young men, about 18 years old, who left her without clothes. The men have issued statements saying the sex was consensual.

Another 19-year-old woman said she was lured back to her tent by a man who was then joined by three friends who all assaulted her. The woman's boyfriend had left the event prior to the incident because of rainy weather.

The third assault case allegedly occurred when a woman flagging down cars, looking for alcohol, was assaulted by a man in one of the vehicles that stopped at her request.

"There's a lot of young people gathered together at the campsites with one tent right on top of the other," Hillstead said. "There are too many people in too small a site where alcohol and drugs are readily available. [The attendees] do things they wouldn't normally do."

Last year's rock festival at the site, dubbed Edgefest, resulted in about 1,000 arrests and citations.

Chad Calek, 23, bassist for 35" Mudder who played on the third day of the festival, said, "The show was completely crazy. Usually as a band [playing onstage], you don't realize how crazy a concert is. But usually there's a mosh pit up front with one other somewhere else. [This weekend] there were mosh pits everywhere, front to back. It was unique to see that. As far as bands go, this [festival] was crazy. There were a lot of heavy bands."

John Montpetit, an owner of Float-Rite Park, said that the number of incidents was fairly low considering that 85,000 people went through his campground's gates last weekend.

"I don't think it's a major deal at all," Montpetit said. "To have about 900 incidents nearby is just about 1 percent [of attendees]. Actually I think it's pretty good. There was no destruction at all."

Calls to the sponsoring radio station, KQRS-FM in Golden Valley, Minn., were not returned by press time.