Heat may have caused woman's death at Bonnaroo music fest

NASHVILLE, Tennessee Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:04pm EDT

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Heat, drugs or a combination may have contributed to the death of a woman whose body was found outside her tent on the grounds of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, officials said Friday.

"We are unsure if heat exhaustion or any type of heat-related illness played a part in it," said Capt. Frank Watkins of the Coffee County Sheriff's Department.

The body of the Pittsburgh woman, age 32, was found by friends late Thursday night, Watkins said. Her name is being withheld pending notification of her family.

The four-day Bonnaroo gathering annually draws 80,000 rock music fans to a 700-acre field in Manchester, Tenn. Temperatures in Tennessee this week have been in the upper-90s.

The heat's potential interaction with medications or drugs or an overdose are being considered as possible causes, according to Watkins. The medical examiner's office in Nashville, about 85 miles from the festival, is conducting the autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Heat is a big concern this year for emergency workers at Bonnaroo, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a major outdoor music festival, drawing people from around the world. Medical aid stations are on site and Vanderbilt University Medical Center has a helicopter stationed for those who might need emergency hospital treatment.

Artists at this year's fest include Eminem, Robert Plant and a reunited Buffalo Springfield with Neil Young and Stephen Stills.

(Writing by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

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