Drug-related injuries and deaths have been a seemingly unbeatable parasite attached to this decade’s dance music boom in America. Youths have been quick to respond to increased security measures, which also contributes to even more unsafe practices such as ‘preloading’ an unsafe amount of dangerous substances before entering events. Attendees risk their safety and health by fighting fire with fire.
Music festival promoters have reevaluated their approach to preventing drug-related fatalities and injuries by taking example from Europe. “We looked to Europe a bit, where such things have worked out well,” said Dr. Andrew Bazos, Chairman of the SFX Medical and Safety Committee. “European electro promoters typically enact more comprehensive, long-term strategies than their American counterparts: specifically, they encourage peer-based crisis management and drug education.” At the Amsterdam Dance Event last October, Dr. Bazos gave a presentation called “Alive andWell at Live Music Events” that called for increases in two sectors of festival management besides security: harm reduction (cool-down areas, substance intake education, water stations) and medical (on-site treatment, fixed and roving EMTs).
This “European approach” strategy encourages safe practices over more aggressive involvement of law enforcement personnel. The event promoters employing this tactic aim to prevent the stifling atmosphere that results from stricter policies and an overbearing presence of police and security personnel.
Is the proper way to consider the safety of event-goers?