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.