Man Who Died at Israeli Rave Almost Surely Died of Overdose, Medical Source Says

The 27-year-old’s body will undergo an autopsy, which the family of the 55-year-old who also died is resisting

The Neverland music festival at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan in the Upper Galilee, October 1, 2018.
Gil Eliahu

The 27-year-old man who died at an outdoor rave in the Galilee on Monday died of systemic organ failure that almost certainly stemmed from drug use, a medical source said, adding that traces of drugs were found in his body.

The man, a resident of Kiryat Shmona, was evacuated to the hospital in serious condition and pronounced dead there a few hours later. His body was sent for an autopsy.

A 55-year-old man from Ashkelon also died at the rave, which took place near Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan. After collapsing during the festival, he was taken to Ziv Medical Center in Safed, where he was pronounced dead.

The hospital said that he is also suspected of dying of a drug overdose, but his family has said it opposes an autopsy.

The police said this week that the Neverland festival, where the two died, had all the necessary permits and obeyed all the rules. They added that they were investigating the deaths.

The Upper Galilee Regional Council said the festival had received the requisite permits and had met all the demands posed by the police, firefighters and health and security agencies. There were even police at the festival, the council said.

But it added in a statement that “this kind of tragedy is why we decided a month ago not to approve any more mass parties like this in our jurisdiction.”

Neverland is an electronic music festival that has taken place for the past eight years. It began last Friday and was attended by around 10,000 people. One woman who attended said it ended late Monday afternoon.

“I didn’t notice that this had happened,” she said of the deaths. “We didn’t see anything.” The partygoers learned of the deaths only from the internet or from friends and relatives who contacted them.

“But like at any nature party, there were a lot of people who took all kinds of drugs,” she said.