New York City officials announced Sunday that the final day of the Electric Zoo music festival was canceled after authorities discovered “serious health risks,” a statement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said.
The event, which was slated to continue on Sept. 1 at Randall’s Island, was canceled early Sunday after two people died and four became critically ill during the weekend festivities. The event began on Friday and was to continue throughout Labor Day weekend.
According to city officials, two concert-goers died during the first two days of the Electric Zoo festival. Their causes of death have not yet been official determined, but officials said they both appeared to have involved the drug MDMA, commonly known as “ecstasy” or “molly.”
According to the NYPD, the two people died Saturday after being rushed to nearby hospitals. Officials said Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, died early Saturday morning at Harlem Hospital after being rushed by ambulance from Randall’s Island. Later Saturday night, another concertgoer, Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, RI, died at Metropolitan Hospital.
In addition to the two deaths, at least four other people attending the festival became critically ill and were admitted to intensive care units at local hospitals, the Mayor’s Office said.
The city said the festival organizers have worked with government agencies to reduce health risks at the event. Despite that, officials said “the safest course of action is to cancel the remaining day of the event.”
As a requirement with major events in city parks, police officers, security, and medical crews were all present at the dance music festival. The event has been held for five years at Randall’s Island. It was unclear if the decision to cancel the event may impact future plans.
In a statement released to Examiner.com on Sunday, the event promoters said: “The founders of Electric Zoo send our deepest condolences to the families of the two people who passed away this weekend. Because there is nothing more important to us than our patrons, we have decided in consultation with the New York City Parks Department that there will be no show today.”