Earlier this month, a war erupted between the Los Angeles County and EDM following two deaths at HARD Summer music festival. The tension was bad then, and it has only gotten worse with the announcement of HARD Day of the Dead.
LA-based emergency room doctors argue that tax-payer owned land shouldn\’t be the home to electronic music festivals, as they pose a threat to public health. Similarly, these festivals result in drug related deaths which further leads to overcrowded emergency rooms with sickly young adults.
Dating back to 2006, there have been at least 9 confirmed deaths related to drugs in Southern California. These deaths have resulted from the use of Ecstasy and similar drugs. They\’re usually referred to as overdoses, but the deaths are often due to something like dehydration or irresponsible usage of the drug, NOT an actual overdose.
The chair of the emergency medicine department at White Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Brian Johnston, made the following statement:
“There is a culture here that is inherently dangerous in the drugs used. [Ecstasy] is a dangerous drug and the culture is to use that drug and to dance to exhaustion. The idea of our local government working with the promoters and generating revenue from these events is grotesque.”
Johnston followed up with this:
\”When you\’re in a large crowd, and the music is overwhelming, and you\’re loaded on speed, I think it\’s inherently dangerous and I don\’t think we should participate in that as a government, as a society. It\’s illegal for a reason.\”
Drugs aren\’t the single contributing factor to these life-threatening hospital visits. Besides the drugs, crowd conditions make seeking medical attention a challenge. Similarly, the duration of these music festivals as well as weather reaching to temperatures of nearly 100 degrees combined with poor decisions can be fatal. These various factors create a lethal concoction, therefore overcrowding emergency rooms.
The debacle between event promoters and hospital staff has caused LA\’s own HARD Day of the Dead to enforce some new rules. Recently, Live Nation (the promoter of HARD) canceled one of HARD\’s events in lieu of recent backlash from local hospitals. Now, HARD has put some serious restrictions on their October festival HARD Day of the Dead. Live Nation agreed to lower attendance at the Fairplex, cutting it by 25,000 attendees a day. Originally at 65,000, only 40,000 festival-goers will be allowed in the grounds at a time. On top of that, the minimum age of attendees was raised to 21. It isn\’t even done there; the duration of the event has been decreased for each day.
Dr. Philip Fagan Jr., emergency department director at Good Samaritan Hospital near downtown LA, stated, \”Raves shouldn’t happen because of the threat to the personal health of individuals who are there.”
It seems as if the battle between EDM and emergency room doctors is just starting.
Source: Los Angeles Times