From what appears to be a drug related fatality in an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) festival called The Warehouse Project on Friday (September 27) in England, the catastrophic outcome is the second in a month after the cancelation of New York's Electric Zoo Festival -- due to two fatalities caused by the same reason.
Before jumping into a tirade about the drug use of (yet another) new generation, an important aspect that must be contemplated is why these events seem to be happening more frequently. Actually, it has less to do with the drugs and more to do with a shift in the music industry: EDM in the live arena is more like the new rock.
Thousands of dance music festivals succeed unscathed by the inevitable 'drug issue' every year and the latest study conducted by Berklee Valencia describes, in detail, how the electronic music became a dominant force in music consumption, along with occupying a significant role in event management; what used to be the wave of the 'underground rave' is now the accepted form of 'live' entertainment. The genre boasts many of its own superstar DJ's like Tiesto and Armand van Helden. Incidentally, Helden was to appear at the ill-fated festival on Friday.
The issue that must be addressed stems from an age-old punitive approach that sidesteps certain realities: Twenty-somethings will experiment with various forms of escapism and this, it seems, will always be the case regardless of the music fads of any era. What can perhaps be more useful as a discourse is how to make this reality safer, along with the precautions that have to be addressed as a public safety issue.
Considering the fact that the power of EDM and its culture is now a permanent fixture of the Y-generation, the challenge is to address the use of MDMA and similar drugs without making the issue an unspoken goblin that only helps the illegal distributors; not to mention the health consequences of the shady production facilities of these substances. Substance abuse and addiction are serious problems and haven't we learned the tragic lessons of shoving these issues under the outworn rugs of the past?