The downside to festival season is that for every large EDM show that’s held there are vultures circling, waiting to jump on the opportunity to call out the irresponsibility and drug abuse that they feel is at the cornerstone of EDM. Well, this weekend there was an event that had such an atmosphere, but here’s the kicker: It was a country concert. At Keith Urban’s concert in Mansfield, Massachusetts, 46 people were treated, 22 were hospitalized, and more than 50 were taken into custody by the police for what was officially categorized as a “mass casualty event.”
Keith Urban’s show was described as needing a steady stream of ambulances to pick up concert-goers who had made themselves so ill, they were passing out and required activating an entire Emergency Medical Services plan to route people to nearby hospitals. Alcohol is so far the main culprit of the debauchery from Saturday’s show, but other substances are suspected to be involved as well. In news that is going to be shocking to absolutely nobody, several EDM artists leaped at the opportunity to have their voices be heard. Both 3LAU and Kaskade had some choice words following the incident.
Weird that so many ravers were at a Keith Urban concert. Oh wait…there’s a drug/alcohol prob OUTSIDE of electronic music?? Shocking.
— Kaskade (@kaskade) July 28, 2014
At Dance Music Northwest, we are of the mindset that no matter what kind of music event you’re at, if you have to be drunk or high to enjoy the music, you need to re-evaluate why you’re there. For many of us EDM is the only drug we need to enjoy where we are, but whatever you do, we hope it’s from an attitude of responsibility and harm reduction. Hopefully, the fact that this sort of thing happened at a non-EDM event will serve as a reminder that binge drinking (and by proxy drugs) are a problem that occur any time you gather enough people together a single place to dance to any music. We’re just as tired as the rest of you of EDM shows constantly being under the microscope.
While it may be tempting to point with glee at something that’s not EDM getting negative attention, we strongly encourage everyone to keep the discussion civil and respectful. This is an opportunity to talk about how because we care about our fellow ravers, the number of hospitalizations at some EDM events has decreased, evidenced by the 60% reduction in hospitalizations at Paradiso. Whether you’re experiencing music at a rave, rock show, or a country show, it’s always important to be aware of yourself and who is around you, look out for yourself and your fellow concert-goers, and set an example for how to do it right.
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