An unofficial Atlanta Pride party ended in tragedy as a man lost consciousness and died.
The man died while attending a party at BJ Roosters, a gay bar on Cheshire Bridge Road, that stretched into the early hours of Sunday morning (October 11).
He was pronounced dead 8am at Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta Police told theWXIA-TV network.
After consuming ecstasy, the man was found in the club’s basement unconscious. The force found no signs of foul play, but an investigation is ongoing.
While a party-goer told the Advocate that the event was “packed” and “overcapacity at times”, Atlanta Pride organisers sought to stress that the club night was not an official Pride event, and that it had only approved virtual events.
Witness laments ‘tragic’ death of man at unofficial Atlanta Pride party.
The industrial bar heaved with party-goers, footage of the event shared on social media showed, for Xion, a gay circuit party thrown by Ga Boy Events.
The group had organised a roster of unofficial events during the Atlanta Pride weekend, including one at a shopping mall and another at District Atlanta – a club which held a made headlines after an August event which saw similarly packed scenes.
A Xion attendee told the Advocate that pandemic guidelines were not enforced by business owners or staffers at the event. He claimed the victim – a Black man in his mid to late 30s – fell to the ground at around 6:30am.
There were no emergency medical technicians at Xion, the witness claimed, with it taking more than 30 minutes for first-responders to arrive to the scene. “And I’m being generous,” he said.
Bar staff seemed “unprepared” to handle the medical emergency and it took some time for the music to be switched off. “It was tragic,” the witness added.
“I’ve been to parties all over the world, I have never been to one without EMTs. In my opinion, this could have been avoided.”
The death of the victim, who has not yet been named, came as footage of the gathering prompted sharp criticism from social media users.