You may remember that last year, Electric Zoo, a three-day festival held on Randall’s Island in New York, was cancelled the third day of the event in response to two drug-related deaths and multiple injuries and arrests. This bold move on behalf of of Electric Zoo communicated clearly its policy of zero-tolerance for illegal substances, even if it meant disappointment for would-be attendees and, possibly, a hit to the festival’s revenue.
Following the annual festival over Labor Day weekend, Media Events, the company that ran Electric Zoo since its inception in 2009, was acquired by SFX Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live events and entertainment content focused on primarily EDM culture. SFX runs events such as TomorrowLand, TomorrowWorld, Sensation, Mysteryland, and even our own local Decibel Festival, and is on a rapid growth tract, with a rumored 50 possible acquisitions in the pipeline.
The message that Electric Zoo sends this year seems to be: EDM festivals are not going away. In fact, they are growing at incredible rates, and they’re wising up to all available opportunities to increase safety for festival-goers.
Measures taken this year to decrease drug consumption and, more importantly, overdoses and death, include hiring plainclothes security guards, stationing drug-sniffing dogs at all entrances, running background checks on vendors and employees, and providing free or cheap electrolytes. Most notably, all festival goers will have to watch a drug education video before their tickets can be validated for festival entry.
Drug overdoses are one of the biggest problems that festivals face. SFX Entertainment takes on this challenge face-on. The festival, which was called the best electronic music festival by billboard.com in 2012, has great potential for a safe and successful event this year.
Now that we’ve learned the important stuff about drug safety, take a few minutes to watch the trailer for the 2014 festival and then try telling us you don’t wish you were there already:
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