Open Letter from GDD™

It never fails to deeply sadden me when news comes out about another young life so carelessly being lost at a music festival or “rave.” While still being in the dark about the circumstances surrounding the death of yet another partygoer at Electric Daisy Carnival Dallas last weekend (this on top of two people passing away at Bonnaroo recently) we can’t help but speculate as to the likely cause. I’ve thought about posting this/not posting this for awhile and have come to the conclusion that with such an incredible reach and loyal following it would be remiss of GDD to stand idly by in silence.

It’s a sad fact that in the eyes of many our beloved electronic dance music and drugs, specifically MDMA, are inherently linked. If people are going to do drugs, that is a personal choice that they must live with. The music you listen to can be a huge part of who you are, but it doesn’t define you. Pretending like drugs do not exist, are the bane of all existence reserved for the scum of society, or preaching abstinence instead of educating people serves absolutely no purpose, despite the commonality of those mindsets here in the United States. People will make the decisions they do, and the responsibility for and the consequences of those actions falls squarely on them alone. From what I’ve read, EDC Dallas was a supremely run festival with all necessary precautions taken. Great security, top-notch medical staff. However, the prevalence of drug use at events such as EDC, Bonnaroo, Ultra Music Festival, etc., is something out of the hands of event promoters to a large degree, so we, all of us, as members of the dance music community, must take it upon ourselves to both become educated and educate others.

There are plenty of resources out there to teach you to be as responsible and cautious as you can when engaging in a potentially dangerous activity like taking mind-altering substances. Don’t buy drugs from strangers. If you must, get them from someone you trust. This weekend if you’re going to be in Las Vegas for EDC, for the love of god stay hydrated even if you’re stone-cold sober. It’s going to be ludicrously hot. Take breaks. If you find yourself on the dance floor for hours on end it’s probably about time you take a breather. You can step outside and still hear the music, it’s not the end of the world. It’s by no means embarrassing to spend 15 minutes in the medical tent getting checked up on if you don’t feel right, too.

Be safe and look out for those around you. Don’t hesitate to throw a extra water someone’s way if they look like they need it. If you’re worried about someone ask if they’re okay, maybe even help them get to one of the medical tents if need be. Odds are you’ll be graciously thanked for your generosity and you’ll carry on at the festival knowing that you did the right thing. Worry about the legal ramifications later, health and safety are paramount.

I hate to sound patronizing but please know this all comes from the bottom of my heart. Hearing that someone died at an event that you left with only fond memories and a smile on your face can sour even the best of weekends. And that doesn’t even begin to compare to the grief someone’s family and friends will forever be slave to if the unimaginable happens.

Know your drugs. Know your surroundings. Know your limits. We all have to take responsibility for each other, because if you really appreciate House and electronic music then you’ll understand that we’re all in this together for the long haul.




11 Responses to Open Letter from GDD™

  1. Francisco Marin says:

    Well said.

  2. Andy says:

    I just wanna say I knew one of the kids that passed away at Bonnaroo.  He wasn’t a drug user at all and it’s sad that when someone dies at a festival it’s automatically assumed it was from using drugs.  I’m not saying at all that you are assuming that, but it’s the common perception ya know.  It really puts unnecessary and baseless stereotypes on our scene.  I went to HARD Summer last year after it was almost canceled from that poor girl overdosing at EDC and the HARD guys really ran a professional and safe event despite what the city thought.  A lot of these deaths from ODing comes from kids using too.  Not saying it’s any better for adults but a 15 year old kid hasn’t learned a lot of the lessons we have.  Need better education.  Stereotypes and miseducation just hurt people more in the long run.

  3. matt says:

    andy, it was merely a reflection on the possibilities, the way things get spun in the media, a cautionary tale, etc. all i had heard about the bonnaroo passings was that one of them was from hyperthermia, which is usually from overheating on mdma/dancing. i’m sorry for your loss and just know my intention was solely to eliminate any recurrences this weekend in vegas. the stereotypes need to go. i saw 40 year olds enjoying themselves this weekend the same as 18 year olds. i’m sure there were 40-somethings on drugs and sober teenagers too. it’s just so much easier for media to vilify the music/event/scene than it is to hold people responsible for their own actions. i’m sure we’re all just glad this weekend went off without any tragedies.

  4. Andy says:

    wasn’t tryin to get at ya haha… i agree with everything you say.  keep up the good work!

  5. Charles says:

    People have to learn to respect drugs. Don’t hate, educate.

  6. Andi Jay says:

    It’s always sad when people die at events like this, but unfortunately that is just a fact of life people go to these events and just push the boundaries of how much there bodies can take! Good article and sound advise if your going raving – rave safe look out for those around you and take care!

  7. Danl says:

    You guys are always on point and correct in your assessment of the rave scene, this is no exception. Very well put guys, hopefully everyone takes your words to heart.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great message. I was at EDC LV and saw a lot of love, compassion, and responsible helping. Waters were being shared, friends were helping friends, strangers helping strangers, etc.

    Education needs to play a big part in these events and the community. We need to inform first-time and newer festival and rave goers of the safer way to party. That, and there needs to be an emphasis on self control and responsibility.

    When a group of that many people get together, there’s statistically a good chance someone will be inured or pass away. Unfortunately that’s life. 

    The events I’ve been to (Coachella, Hard, EDC, etc) have all been run professionally and responsibly, and I do not think they should be held responsible for individuals’ poor life choices. The media really loves to run with sensational nonsense to perpetuate fear and maintain their visitorship with such exaggerations.

  9. Spacecamp says:

    Bonnaroo has had one death every year- this year it had two. 

    But it’s a four day long festival in 95+ degree heat with 90,000 people there – one or two deaths seems like a pretty damn good ratio to me. 

    That being said, thanks for writing about keeping everyone safe.

  10. GDD_come_on says:

    Riiight….coming from a group of people who are the king of drinkers and partiers…

  11. jonahberry says:

    While I’ll fully accept that sarcastic remark and take it somewhat as a compliment, it’s obvious that you’ve missed the message of this open letter entirely. We’re not telling people not to do drugs. Rather, we want people to assume personal responsibility and know the limits and consequences of their actions including drug taking. We love everybody out there and just don’t want to read another news article about someone ending their life at a music festival designed to inspire and enhance life. Give this letter another once-over and I’m sure you’ll see that’s where we are coming from.


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