Another EDM Festival, Another Batch of Overdoses…

Electronic music culture involves lots of drugs, not only by the core EDM community but also recreational users who use MDMA and other ‘enhancers’ to better enjoy the music.  The question is whether an ongoing string of drug-related disasters will serve to derail the booming EDM festival market.


Despite heightened awareness and security measures at most festivals, incidents now seem inevitable.  This time, a 23-year-old man died from cardiac arrest due to drug overdose this past weekend at Defqon 1 in Sydney. It is reported that at least 14 more were hospitalized due to drug-related health issues.

The incident closely follows the recent deaths of two concert-attendees at the Electric Zoo Festival in New York, which forced the complete cancellation of the final day.

6 Responses

  1. mdti

    so, which ones to use, which ones to avoid ?
    advices, pictures, etc etc…..

    Also, reaction to this article scrutinized by NSA or FBI ? or both ? any links with interpol ?

  2. Music Fan

    Don’t know if I have much new to contribute, but in the interest of more complete information for the poo-pooing/tut-tutting readers of digital music news…

    The Electronic Zoo issues have been linked to use of “bath salts” type substances, specifically methylone, that are misleadingly sold on the street as “molly”. The Wikipedia pages on bath salts, methylone, and related substances are quite informative.

    The recent surge in dance music and MDMA in US popular culture means demand is outpacing supply. Uninformed kids who don’t even know they are not getting the real thing (or don’t care) plus profit motivated dealers is a recipe for disaster. People are taking something that is more toxic and offers a lower high, so they tend to take more doses in search of the real mdma experience that they seek.

    By making a relatively safe substance (when enjoyed responsibly) illegal, the unintended consequences of the drug laws create more harm then good.

    A synthetic drug which could be manufactured safely and authentically for pennies is turned into a cash cow on the black market, intruducing incentive for the dangerous criminal element.

    Limited access to precursors limits the availability of quality ingredients (and is supposedly leading to the extinction of certain plant species?) making things more dangerous.

    Law enforcement at shows prevents harm reduction organizations from offering attendees tests to authenticate substances and scares kids away from seeking immediate medical treatment if something does go wrong.

    Take the time to educate yourself and young people you meet at shows so they can make more infomred and safe decisions.

    -Only buy from people you know or people introduced to you by people you know. Know where to find them so they feel accounttable for what they sell you.

    -Ask about what is in what you buy. Make it clear that you want the real thing because you don’t want to get hurt.

    -Buy, use, and understand the limitations of testing kits.

    -If you feel unsure about what you are about to take, don’t take it.

    -Understand the science behind appropriate dosing. Be informed about the risks of excessive doses.

    -Understand the science behind the frequency of use. Be informed about the risks of excessive frequently.

    -Understand other harm reduction behaviors like proper hydration, nutrition, rest, and recovery time.

    -Take care of your friends and be nice to eachother.

    • Kaspian

      not going to say much but i agree with music fan. be safe and have fun.

  3. Electronic Music Fan for 20 ye

    Legalize all drugs! Then we will all know what we are taking and how much to take or not to take.

    You can’t stop people from taking drugs, not now not ever!

    I don’t hear anyone saying Bar’s should close because people die from alcohol related issues.

  4. Interesting.


    Let’s blame the EDM community but not the individuals? You Progressive Liberal Socalist in the music world crack me up. A bunch of lame excuses for human existance, lack of free will, lack of comonsense.

    Drugs are used by fans of all styles of music.

    Yes, I’m a touring EDM artist, Producer with many tracks charted. However, this site is the very reason I do not give “Interviews” anymore, to any rag tag music mag or blog.

    Most of you are pikers who belong in a “Brave New World”.

    I, will blame the individuals for their deaths as they made the choice. I will not blame Music, Events or such.

  5. TheWalleh

    Congratulations on putting together a lazy article on a hot button subject.

    If you’re going to joing the conversation around drug use and education at festival shows, provide resources or a unique outlook instead of a click magnet.