Summer music festivals drop hot beats, cold bodies


As this year’s music festival season rolls on, it seems that people’s lives are being taken with it.

Earlier this year, four people died and more than 20 were injured at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas due to a massive hit and run.

Another death was reported at Miami’s dance music festival, Ultra. And just recently, a woman was found dead at Coachella, a massively popular music festival located in Southern California.

Even though these deaths took place this year, music festivals have always posed a threat to people’s safety.

10 people were killed in a stampede at Germany’s Love Festival in 2010. And just last year, two festivalgoers died at the Electric Zoo Festival in New York, reportedly due to drug-related causes.

One of the more popular drugs people take at these festivals is MDMA, more commonly known as “Molly.”

Over the course of the past few years, the use of this drug has been glamorized within popular culture, being name-dropped in multiple songs you can catch on the radio.

The rising popularity of the drug and its euphoria-induced symptoms, added to the steady increase of festival attendees, results in dangerous conditions.

Precautions have been taken against the epidemic of festival deaths.

According to Ray Waddell of, Coachella coordinators took extreme measures to combat drug use and the danger it imposes on attendees.

“Messaging about drugs and alcohol and other safety issues routinely appears on festival websites,” Waddell wrote.

Medical tents, a staff of safety teams and water stations were also set up at this year’s event.

“Each genre of music has its own safety challenges, whether it’s unruly behavior, alcohol, drugs, ‘herd’ mentality, or simply fan inexperience,” wrote Waddell.

One musical genre that adopted MDMA as its trademark drug is electronic dance music, more commonly known as EDM.

EDM’s popularity has increased rapidly over the past year, with songs like “Animal” by DJ/producer Martin Garrix and DJ Snake’s “Turn Down for What” catching young listeners’ ears.

It’s safe to say that the genre has reached the mainstream.

Music festivals, like Coachella, are adding even more EDM acts into their festival line-ups.

The euphoria caused by the music’s pummeling beats are even more heightened by the drugs that are commonly taken while listening.
People who attend these festivals want to feel the thrill of the beat.

Drugs like MDMA allow users to do achieve this feeling. And while the drug has a certain appeal, dangerous effects can obviously occur.

The increased sweating from dancing and taking the drug causes dehydration, one of the more common reasons of death behind MDMA.
And with the Electric Daisy Carnival, another large EDM festival just around the corner, drug use is to be expected.

Hopefully the trend of death and injuries does not tarnish this event as well.

Festivals should drop beats, not bodies.