Up to eight people who attended the Technocolour Dreams paint party hosted by Algonquin College suffered small burns to their arms, chest and face.
Several attendees near the stage claimed that the burns happened because of the CO2 guns the promoter was using at the show.
After the first round of paint was sprayed on the crowd, Technocolour Dreams brought out hand held cryo guns which are used to cool down the crowd and create a pyrotechnic effect. During the use of these guns, multiple people claim that particles from them began to hit their skin and cause painful marks immediately.
“All of a sudden it started to sting,” said Amy Ware, a first-year pre-nursing student. “I covered my face and then I turned around to look at my roommate and asked ‘what is this?’”
Ware and her roommate, Dakota Van Kessel, were at the show for about an hour before they decided to get out of the crowd.
“When it hit you it felt like it was burning your skin,” said Van Kessel, a first-year developmental services worker student. “It felt like frostbite everywhere.”
The news came as a surprise to Baldeep Randhawa, the events programmer of the Students Association since there was no mention of burns in his post-event briefing with first-aid.
“I’m shocked to hear,” said Randhawa. “This is the first I had heard about it. After the event we didn’t receive any complaints of burns.”
“We try to take as many precautions as possible,” said Randhawa. “From having all of our first aid kits, to properly trained security, to lots of trained professionals.”
The particles were enough to cause large red marks that, in both Van Kessel and Ware’s case, lasted up to a week after the concert.
Although it is a possibility that the marks were caused by a reaction to the paint, the type of marks, the placement, and the timeline suggest they were cold burns and not a reaction. Ware also doesn’t believe it was a reaction.
“It definitely wasn’t because of the paint,” said Ware. “I had it all over my face and all over my chest and the only place that I had the red marks were on my arms.”
The marks on Ware’s arms were caused by her trying to stop the particles from hitting her in the face.
Ware and Van Kessel’s experience was shared by many of their friends and others on Algonquin’s residence who attended the show.
“Probably everybody at the front got burnt,” said Van Kessel. “Basically all of me and my friends were and there were six of us.”
For Ware, it was an unexpected twist on a night where she was hoping to have a good time with her friends.
“I just thought it was really weird,” said Ware. “Because I wasn’t expecting it. It was just all of the sudden things didn’t seem right.”
Several attempts to contact Technocolour Dreams were unsuccessful.