Today is the last day of the musical playground EDC Chicago. When you hear about festivals you naturally think of lights, music, megastructures, beautiful people, crazy costumes, and good times that cannot be replicated in any other type of event. But when city officials and communities hear festivals, there’s really only one thing on their minds: dollar signs. The events are able to be hosted at these places are because of the economic stimulation directly applied from festival attendees.
The Chicago Tribune recently posted an article about EDC Chicago, discussing whether this was the right decision for the city. In any situation, pros and cons need to be heavily weighed before a decision can be made on what the best option is. The major con for electronic musical festivals is drug use. It doesn’t matter how much money the local economy gets if the headline in the paper reads “Overdoses Lead to Multiple Deaths for Festival Goers.”
The article compares events from years ago when Insomniac was hosting events in California and the hazards of drug use. Pasquale Rotella was quoted to say:
“There are big events in this country, this world, whether it’s a marathon or a rock festival, and they all have safety issues,” he said. “People who think dance music is unique to these problems are not with the times and are misinformed 100 percent.”
When he’s right, he’s right. Festivals and events around the world, of all types of music, are just as guilty as electronic festivals. People have been doing drugs at shows when E, D, and M were just three random letters in the alphabet. Do people consume drugs at EDM shows? Absolutely. Do people do drugs at Dave Matthew Band shows? Absolutely. Do people do drugs at Taylor Swift shows? I honestly have no idea, but I’m willing to bet the new Daft Punk album that some of them do.
The control and regulations at these events is what will minimize the use of drugs and unsafe behavior at these shows. Said best by Chief Mike Trafton:
“It’s great for a city like Joliet, all the added tax revenue for restaurants and everything else,” Trafton said. “It’s good for the city in terms of economics, and the same for our guys. They’re (Insomniac) paying a good wage.”
City Councilwoman Jan Hallums-Quillman was also quoted to say:
“It doesn’t make sense to reject (the event) out of hand based on something that happened three years ago. Sometimes you have to take a chance and see where it goes, but we will not tolerate any type of drug activity at all.”
After reading some of the quotes from city officials it seems that Joliet has a good understanding as to what to expect from the festival, and the steps they need to take to make it the safest environment possible for everyone in attendance. I’m glad Joliet decided to host EDC and I hope they’re concerns are silenced after a successful, and profitable event.
If Armin van Buuren has anything to say about it, EDC Chicago will be a permanent location, as the trance god stated that the people deserve a festival like EDC Chicago.