BROOKLYN, MI– A person scrolling through Faster Horses Festival social media or attending the festival wouldn’t know four festival-related deaths had occurred.
A 30-year-old woman’s body was found on the festival grounds at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 17. Police later identified the woman as Melissa Donna Havens. Police are requesting assistance in finding a male seen with her within 24 hours of her body being located.
At about 1:27 p.m. on Saturday, police received a call about several unresponsive persons at a campground near Michigan International Speedway. When emergency responders arrived on the scene at the corner of US-12 and Brooklyn Highway, they found five males inside a travel trailer unresponsive.
According to a festival map, sites in that area are affiliated with the festival, and attendees could purchase camping spots alongside their tickets.
Three of the five males were pronounced dead at the scene and two were transported to a local hospital in critical condition. The incident is being investigated as a possible carbon monoxide exposure from a generator near the travel trailer.
Despite the four deaths and two severe injuries, festival organizers will not issue a statement or comment on the incidents.
The festival organizers are working with local authorities and since it is an ongoing investigation, the organizers requested that all inquiries go to police, said Courtney Johanson, who leads the festival’s public relations.
Faster Horses social media has continued promoting and celebrating the country music and camping festival. The festival’s latest posts feature content of main stage artists, with no mention of the four festival attendees who died.
On the Faster Horses Facebook page, the festival wrote “Talk about an ‘Unforgettable’ Saturday night! Thomas Rhett knows how to bring the party!”
The post references Saturday’s headlining artist Thomas Rhett and his song “Unforgettable.” A majority of comments praise Rhett’s performance, while a few mention the festival attendees’ deaths.
“Post about one of the celebrities that performed but not one condolence to any of the families regarding the very unfortunate circumstances that happened at this event,” one Facebook user wrote on the post.
Michigan State Police and Lenawee County Sheriff’s announced the deaths prior to the evening of Saturday, July 17. The event continued as its usual country music party, both on social media and on the festival grounds.
READ MORE FROM THE JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT: