Concertgoer says she was drugged at Osheaga
A Montreal woman says she was drugged this past weekend at the Osheaga music festival.
Melanie Doucet claims someone spiked her drink on Friday night, making her feel sick and disoriented.
She says that 15 minutes after getting separated from her friends in the crowd watching the Red Hot Chili Peppers, she was suddenly overcome.
"Dizzy. My speech became slurred. I thought I was going to fall to the ground. And it just happened literally in a minute. I just knew something was wrong," said Doucet.
The PhD student said she was holding a glass of lemonade and never put it down, but believes someone put something into the large hole in the cover.
"This had happened to me before, years and years ago in a bar. And I have lots of girlfriends and acquaintances this has happened to. This is way more common than people realize," said Doucet.
She told CTV how she fought to get out of the crowd, while recognizing that she was losing control of her body.
"The first thing I could think of was get out, because I know from experience and other peoples' experiences that the person who did this to you is a predator, and they'll escort you out and pretend they're your friend taking care of you," said Doucet.
"My vision started getting blurred as I was getting out and I started losing more control of my body so I was bending over backwards trying to walk and keep up straight so I was literally latching onto people trying to get myself out."
She doesn't remember getting into the metro, but she made it one stop to Berri-UQAM, and from there to her boyfriend's home.
"I don't remember getting onto the metro. I just remember being on his steps and crying 'someone drugged me.'"
Doucet spent the night drinking water and sleeping, but never sought medical care -- or reported the incident to police.
"I didn't go to the police because there is no way for me to identify the perpetrator," she said. "I'm not sure what that would have done except waste my time."
Instead she went to back to the festival on Saturday and spoke to security.
"I said I have something to tell you, someone drugged my drink last night. Could you please advise security to be on the lookout for strange things happening, or girls in distress?"
However Doucet was not impressed with the response.
"The response I got was 'We're really busy. We try to catch things but we can't catch everything. I'm really sorry this happened to you, but I'm really busy, I gotta go.' And I was also told maybe you should have paid closer attention to your drink which really put me off because that's pretty much victim-blaming in my opinion."
Doucet, who wrote about her ordeal, said she has since been contacted with other people who believe they have had the same thing happen to them.
Evenko, the company that runs the Osheaga festival, released a statement saying it will follow up on Doucet's complaint.
“We are very sorry to learn what happened to the young lady this past weekend,” the statement read. “We would like to reiterate that Evenko takes all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the 45,000 festival attendees present each day on the Parc Jean-Drapeau site. The teams on site can intervene quickly, and, if needed, rapidly and effectively treat those who require special care. SPVM police officers are also present around the site and are ready to take action at any time.
We are committed to the safety and well-being of our festival attendees. Our action plan is constantly evolving and is based on our ability to rapidly adapt appropriate measures for each situation with the goal of offering the best possible experience to the music fans who attend our events.”
Montreal police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said there is a risk of being drugged at many different venues.
“It happens really fast those kinds of events,” said Brabant. “The people that are doing that will check you out before and see if you are talking to someone, you're listening to music, you're watching your phone, they are going to take that second to do something like that so make sure you're aware of your surroundings.”