Are Drugs an EDM Problem, or a Society Problem?


Photo Jun 17, 12 52 49 PM
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Photo Jun 17, 12 52 49 PM
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B. Traits

Drugs are obviously a big concern at music festivals. EDM festivals have a worse reputation than most other genres, but is this justified?

An EDMbiz panel approached the subject.  The panel was moderated by Mark Lawrence, Chief Executive of the Association for Electronic Music.  Speakers included B. Traits of BBC Radio 1, Dr. Dale Carrison of Emergency Medicine at University of Nevada, Insomniac’s Director of Health & Safety Maren Steiner, and UBC Mass Gathering Medicine Interest Group Founder Dr. Adam Lund.

The panel generally agreed that drugs and alcohol aren’t more of a problem at EDM festivals than at festivals of other genres, or even other non-music events.

In fact, Dr. Carrison and Steiner felt that EDM fans are easier to deal with, versus old drunk guys at a Metallica concert.

Dr. Lund talked about Shambala Festival, a Canadian electronic festival.  Shambala allows attendees to hand drugs over to get tested.  Festivalgoers that were going to take drugs anyways can test part of their stash to find out if they really have what they think they have.  The tent also provides information on the effect of various drugs, so people can make informed decisions. Dr. Lund argued that attendees that chose to discard their drugs after testing would have been the most at risk.

One of my favorite quotes from the presentation was by Dr. Lund:

“When people choose to celebrate with drugs and alcohol and get sick, they are stigmatized. But when people choose to run Ironman Races until they pee blood they are celebrated.”


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u


3 Responses

  1. FarePlay

    “When people choose to celebrate with drugs and alcohol and get sick, they are stigmatized. But when people choose to run Ironman Races until they pee blood they are celebrated.”

    I have read some whack job statements in my life and this one is up there. If Dr (?) Lund doesn’t understand that Lance Armstrong’s life didn’t fall off a cliff he must be living in a box under the bleachers at the Daisy festival. Yeah, Lance is inundated with celebrity.

  2. Doug Wulff

    I attended the panel discussion. I am amazed at the quality of the medical care EDC is providing. Full medical staff, two minute response time, and triage tents. Oh, and no bill after the ER doctors and nurses fix you up.

    The panel also gave a lot of props to the EDM fan base…called them the most respectful group they’ve ever worked with, and they spend money.

  3. NotSoEasilyFooled

    That’s great that they are doing the bare minimum to avoid PR disasters. It shouldn’t matter that they don’t charge you. If 400k people pay to get in, it should cover the cost of a quick check up or even a trip to the ER. They aren’t doing you any favors, they are avoiding things like what happened when the 15 year old girl died at their los angeles show.

    Additionally, there is no way in hell that people who are rolling or tripping are easier to deal with than drunks. Do you realize alcohol is a depressant which makes people get less rowdy, much more quickly than ecstasy or lsd?

    All of this PLUR bullshit and these companies that are only protecting their own asses from endless legal troubles. THEY DONT CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR HEALTH AS LONG AS YOU DONT CREATE A PR NIGHTMARE FOR THEM.

    EDC has so many security people and so many other people working there that they could actually do something to avoid letting people who are clearly on drugs and may overdose (which happens every year at their festivals), yet they allow them in. They allow them to do drugs. Because how else will all those people who are tripping balls spend $5 per bottle of water? If they cared about you, they would advocate AGAINST the use of drugs at these events.

    Unless that is, the music sucks so bad that people NEED to be drugged up to actually have a good time.