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Reflecting On The HARD Summer Deaths This Weekend - OpEd

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Reflecting On The HARD Summer Deaths This Weekend - OpEd

Magnetic's Rich Kim Reflects on the HARD Summer Deaths

Two women passed away, much too early in their lives, at another EDM-heavy music festival this past weekend. HardFest promoters issued this statement to Spin Magazine:

“At this weekend’s HARD Summer festival at Fairplex in Pomona, CA, two patrons were transported from the site to nearby hospitals in two separate incidents. One patron was suffering from cardiac arrest and the other from possible seizure symptoms. Event EMT, security, Pomona Police Department and L.A. County Fire Department responded immediately and took appropriate action to provide care as soon as possible. Unfortunately, both patrons have passed away. The cause of death is still under investigation. We extend our deepest sympathies to their families and friends.”

It’s always rough to hear about the deaths of party goers, which seem to be making headlines more frequently than we’d prefer. LA Times Article Here

Earlier this year Electric Daisy Carnival also had a death due to MDMA intoxication. It appears that with every big EDM event as of late, it’s to be expected that at least one death relating to drugs will occur. What’s going on? The first “music festival” was created back in 1968 called Summerfest, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was held in 35 different smaller venues throughout the city.

The following year, in 1969, the world bore witness to the actual first “music festival” that took place on a 600-acre plot of land in Bethel over three days. This festival was called “Woodstock Music & Art Fair” and it was one of the most impacting festival events in our music history, which has influenced generations to come.

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Woodstock had 32 performing acts during a weekend of rainstorms, overcrowding concert goers, the absence of proper food concessions and not enough restroom facilities (approx. 3 toilets per 10,000 people). With 500,000+ attendees that flooded the mud pits all over the festival grounds, SURPRISINGLY… only three deaths were linked to the massive festival that flourished during the high point of free love, experimental drugs, and hippie everything.

Out of those three deaths, only 1 was drug related (heroin overdose). The other deaths resulted from 1 person’s appendix rupturing and the other was killed by a tractor while he was sleeping in the mud. It’s shocking to compare statistics to modern day EDM-heavy festivals. Hard Summer Festival, this past weekend, had approximately 65,000 in attendance with 2 alleged drug-related deaths.

Electric Daisy Carnival had approximately 135,000 in attendance with one death earlier this year. In these modern times, with “intelligent” security, undercover police and strict “no-drug” policies, it’s alarming to see that these deaths are still happening.

Is this morbid phenomenon related to club promoter negligence? Drug-use ignorance in the youth of today? Poor security and/or police involvement? Government uselessness in the “war on drugs?” OR is it a nasty by-product of what the EDM culture has morphed into? I can honestly say in my many years as a club kid in the original dance music and underground scene here in Los Angeles (beginning in 1989), deaths were few and far between in a time when almost every club kid avidly took MDMA, LSD, GHB, heroin, meth, cocaine, mushrooms and more. (informative article: It's Time to Talk About Drugs)

It’s hard to wrangle all the factual statistics of deaths relating to drugs at all of the music festivals in the history of our generation, but one thing is for sure… EDM is currently the heavyweight champion when it comes to this negative accolade.

Magnetic Magazine extends their deepest condolences for the loss of life at this past weekend’s festival, with hopes and prayers that this doesn’t happen again anytime soon.

You might also like: "Everyone Calm Down About LA County Banning Music Festivals"

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