News

Nocturnal Fest draws 25,000 in two nights

Deputy sheriff treated for minor injuries; first case of LSD in 15 years reported by police
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor

Music fans crowd one of four stages at Apache Pass Saturday night, part of the Nocturnal Fest that drew one of the largest crowds in Milam County history. Photo courtesy Insomniac Events Music fans crowd one of four stages at Apache Pass Saturday night, part of the Nocturnal Fest that drew one of the largest crowds in Milam County history. Photo courtesy Insomniac Events The largest crowd in Milam County in 27 years drew 25,000 music fans to Apache Pass Saturday and Sunday and provided an economic boost to Rockdale motels and restaurants.

At least 50 arrests during the Nocturnal Fest weekend were reported by county law enforcement agencies, although Sheriff David Greene said only five were made on the Apache Pass grounds.

Virtually all arrests were drug and alcohol-related. A traffic stop in Rockdale yielded what police believe to be the first case of LSD here in at least 15 years.

Deputy Sheriff Mike Hoyt, a former Rockdale Police Department officer, was treated and returned to duty after a vehicle mirror struck him while Hoyt was making a DWI arrest.

SINCE GEORGE— Pasquale Rotella, founder of Insomniac Events, which produced the spectacle, estimated attendance at 12,000 on Saturday and 13,000 on Sunday.

Deputy Sheriff Mike Hoyt returned to duty after being struck by vehicle mirror while making an alcohol-related arrest. Deputy Sheriff Mike Hoyt returned to duty after being struck by vehicle mirror while making an alcohol-related arrest. That 13,000 estimate would make Sunday’s Nocturnal crowd the largest since George Strait appeared at the Rockdale Fair in 1983.

Nocturnal has usually been held in much larger cites. The second Nocturnal event of 2010 will be held in Los Angeles, Rotella said.

Rotella praised Milam County locals, restaurants and motels as “very accommodating.”

“We had several options for venues and I have no doubt we picked the best one,” he said.

DRUGS— Lt. J. D. Newlin of the Rockdale Police Department said practically every major arrest made by police during the weekend was related to the music festival.

A traffic stop involving two men from Tulsa, Oklahoma, resulted in drug charges.

Derrik Blaine Totty, 21, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (4 to 400 grams) and marijuana possession. He was released on $27,000 bond.

Brian Mitchell Hunter, 22, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (less than one gram). He was released after posting $7,000 bond.

Newlin said the “designer drug” ecstasy was recovered and police also found what they believe to be LSD.

He said the men were headed for the music fest.

“That would be the first case of LSD in Rockdale in at least 15 years,” Newlin said.

Also on Saturday, Tram-Anh Nu Hong, 19, of Austin, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (1 to 4 grams). He was released after posting $15,000 bond.

Alexander Quentin McWhirter, 20, of Austin was charged Sat- urday with possession of a controlled substance (less than one gram). He posted $5,000 bond and was released.

Hallie Diane Warnock, 19, of Dallas was charged with possession of marijuana (less than two ounces). She was released after posting $2,000 bond.

TASK FORCE— In addition to the Rockdale arrests, 29 persons were booked into the Milam County Jail on drug charges between Saturday afternoon and Monday afternoon.

An additional 10 were filed on for alcohol offenses.

There were a scattering of other offenses including assault, resisting arrest and a large number of traffic offenses.

A dozen Department of Public Safety troopers working FM 908 and other roads in the Apache Pass area made 27 of the arrests, with 10 involving ecstasy, two LSD and one each for cocaine and marijuana.

The DPS also reported 222 traffic stops which included 110 traffic violation charges, six DWI arrests and issued 241 warnings.

All arrests are listed in the Milam County Jail log on page 3A.

‘NOT TOLERAT Sunday, Facebook, and other Internet sites, were full of comments questioning the festival, and others like it.

“A ll of us associated w ith Apache Pass salute and support the efforts of the law enforcement agencies,” Kit Worley, founder of the venue, said.

“We want people to come here, have a good time and be safe,” he said. “We don’t want them to break the law. I thought the security, and ID checking, provided by Insomniac was the best I’ve seen.”

Greene said he felt the amount of arrests was “not out of line” with the number of people present.

STAGES— The event featured four stages, more than 50 DJs, dozens of acts and state-of-theart light shows.

Performers included Disco, Biscuit, Lotus, Pretty Lights, Kid Cudi, Armin Van Buuren, Laidback, Luke and Roni Size.

Insomniac credited “the hard work of the artists, production staff, security team and support from local officials and the phenomenal setting for making the Nocturnal Festival such a successful event.”

“We are very grateful to have been able to present this contemporary mix of arts and culture at this historic location,” Rotella said.

“The venue is a treasure, located between three colleges and it provided the perfect setting for two days of great music, unique art and wonderful times,” he said.

In addition to music, the festival featured state-of-the-art light shows.

“We’re very thankful that so many music fans traveled to join us,” Rotella said. “We’re already thinking of ideas for next year.”


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2010-09-09 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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