Harm Reduction is a very important issue to us here at Dance Music Northwest. The care and safety of our fellow ravers is of the utmost priority. In the Northwest, we are provided with some of the best harm reduction measures out there, even though we still have a long way to go to make our events completely safe. EDC was an interesting place to be when you look at it from that very standpoint.
For anyone who has ever worked in corporate America, a SWOT Report (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats) can be useful when analyzing an event or program someone developed. Using our expertise in this field, we wanted to analyze Insomniac’s effort under this criteria.
Hands down, one the best things an event anywhere can do is provide free water refilling stations. EDC/Insomniac provided water refilling stations inside the venue, provided free bottles of water while waiting in the bus line go to the event, as well as leaving the event. In the temperatures that existed down there for the weekend, this greatly decreased the number of casualties the event could of had.
The biggest concern with seeking help when one is under the influence of ANY substance, is the fear of getting in trouble under the law. Thankfully, if one was in need of help, they could report to the medical staff without fear of prosecution. Creating that amnesty allows more people to be willing to seek help if something is wrong, and thus providing a better chance of survival in a serious medical emergency.
Messaging was a little lacking. Yes, there were many media blasts about how to seek help, warnings about the extreme heat, and even information provided on amnesty in the medical zones. But it could have been a lot more prevalent while at the event itself. We in the press can only put out so many articles providing information, but the trick is to actually get people to read those articles. So far as we can see from looking through our personal emails, where we would receive emails from Insomniac as fans, we couldn’t find anything that addressed harm reduction leading up to the event. If there was something that was sent out, we missed it and so did the fans who attended.
The medical tents were also a little hard to locate. I personally asked where I could find one at the event and was told that it was in “that” direction and ended up walking right by it. If a sober person couldn’t easily find the facilities, you can bet that an intoxicated or delirious person couldn’t either.
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