Ethel Cain Pauses Central Park Concert to Help Multiple Fans In Need of Assistance

Ethel Cain‘s performance in Central Park as part of SummerStage’s concert series largely went off without a hitch Thursday evening (June 28), with the 26-year-old musician performing a slew of mellow tracks and closing with a rousing encore of “American Teenager” and a cover of the Kim Carnes’ version of “Bette Davis Eyes.” But there was one bizarre moment that occurred midway through, with four to five people requiring medical assistance within a few minutes of each other during the same song.

Just before launching into her ambient, unreleased song “Amber Waves,” Cain asked her audience to close their eyes and stand still to feel the energy of the song rippling through them. Some concertgoers may have taken her instructions too seriously, though, and locked their knees while listening, as a few appeared to pass out and/or suddenly require help all at once across several different spots in the crowd.

Other relevant factors: the temperature of the outdoor event was somewhere in the high 70s, according to National Weather Service, though drinks were available at concession stands. The sold-out space was fully packed as well, with a staff member instructing concertgoers before the show began to refrain from sitting down on the ground in order to make sure everyone could fit.

When she noticed people needing aid, Cain stopped her performance in its tracks and directed medics to the spots they were needed. She also called on SummerStage workers to hand out waters, which they obliged, and at least one person was walked out of the venue by staff.

“Does anybody else need water?” the Florida native asked her audience patiently before starting “Amber Waves” from the top. “Is everyone good, is anyone feeling faint?”

Billboard has reached out to SummerStage’s rep for comment.

Cain is currently slated to tour throughout the end of September, when she’ll return to New York for the All Things Go music festival. Her debut record, Preacher’s Daughter, was one of Billboard‘s top 50 albums of 2022.

The rapid-fire incidents at Cain’s show are just the latest examples in what seems to be an upward trend of people fainting since live performances returned post-pandemic. Last year, fellow folk-rock star Maggie Rogers issued a PSA to fans about the importance of staying hydrated at concerts, noting in a TikTok video, “Something is happening on this tour that we have never ever experienced before, which is that we’re seeing more people than ever either pass out or have panic attacks in the audience.”

“Obviously, it’s been a really long time since we’ve been in crowds, and concerts may not be the most natural space after a couple of years we’ve spent in the pandemic,” she added at the time. “If you’re coming to a show, please stay hydrated, try not to lock your knees if you’re standing for a really long time, take some breaks, and just do everything you can to keep everyone safe and healthy around you.”

Watch Cain handle the pauses in her show below.

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