This isn’t a new issue by any stretch of imagination, but ever since the deaths last year at Hard Summer, and honestly long before that, the rave scene in California has come under even more intense scrutiny causing local legislation and policymakers to call for reforms to prevent more tragedies from happening.
This year, three people passed away at Hard Summer, and another passed away following EDC Las Vegas, and coroners have all but ruled that MDMA use is the root cause of the majority of these deaths – though it would be a misnomer to label the deaths ‘overdoses.’ When it comes to talking about this drug problem, the EDM community has pushed back, blaming a lack of free water, the “War on Drugs,” misleading mainstream media propaganda, untrained security, and more. All the while, promoters and legislators continue calling for new security measures and moving festivals to alternate locations, yet the cycle of loss repeats itself.
Organizations such as DanceSafe have proposed for years that events are dire in need of massive overhauls, including basic facilities to prevent death and injury, such as free water, pill-testing, cool down spaces, and other relatively simple fixes. However, The Guardian has pointed out that despite all those measures being put into place, these deaths just keep on happening. They cite Cow Palace in San Francisco as a venue that tried harm reduction to no avail during the late 2000s. It should be noted that harm reduction has helped at events like the annual Shambhala.
Does the real problem come down to MDMA and ecstasy use? Should “raves” be banned? If you look at the numbers, of all the decade’s 25 [reported] drug-related deaths at dance music festivals, none have happened at 21+ events. Is the solution to the problem making all “raves” in the Los Angeles area 21+? Maybe not, but if you ask me, it’s a far better alternative to banning them all.
H/T: The Guardian