Electric Zoo Music Festival has been cancelled due to two drug-related deaths, the dead were ages 20 and 24. Sadly, for the two the last part of "eat sleep rave repeat" won't be happening again.
Exactly a year ago after Electric Zoo 2012, I asked myself: Is there a way to save America's EDM culture? I got my answer today, and that is "no."
I tried really hard this year to embrace what positive vibes I could get from my fellow Animals--the stranger on the bus that offered me purple glitter, the old couple getting down to Dog Blood, the influx of Canadians that looked like maple leaf presents, the boy in a wifebeater and bandana randomly picking up bottles and cups telling the crowd to "keep it clean", the Long Island college kid in head-to-toe day glow telling us how he wanted to sneak in a slip n slide on the subway--these were the moments I desperately tried to remember to remind myself the festival wasn't all lost.
But my vibe has been officially been killed. For the first time in the three years I have attended Electric Zoo, drug use has consumed the experience. I was approached several times by strangers asking "Do you have M?" or "Do you have Molly?". I'd answer no and these individuals would stumble to the next person asking the same question. I witnessed a security guard pounce on a suspected dealer who looked like every other bro in a jersey tank with kandi bracelets and pinned the boy to the ground while he waited for backup. MADE Event officials interrupted two sets around 3pm yesterday, while I was at Dyro and Oliver, warning the crowd that if people do not drink water or take care of themselves and each other, the event would be cancelled. This is the bullshit I want nothing of. I don't do drugs. I don't need drugs, and I'm starting to think people like me who get excited over the music and revel in the dancing don't have a place at festivals.
Death in any circumstance is death. It is unfortunate that such sad news has to be made an example of, and I'm disappointed to see dance music grow and evolve in such a negative direction in the US.
This will be the first time I'm uncertain if I will return to EZOO next year.