A New Idea for Preventing Deaths at EDM Events
City Councillor Anne Moran of Adelaide, South Australia has just called for a ban on EDM events during extreme heat.
In the wake of Stereosonic Festival, held at Adelaide's Bonython Park, Councillor Moran raised the issue to consider banning dance music events when temperatures exceed 35C (95F). A 19 year old attendee died after being rushed from the festival to a local hospital. Moran commented on the frequency with which heat-stroke is the biggest risk for drug users at music events. She also spoke about the greater responsibility that should be placed on event organizers for providing free water and taking other pro-active measures to prevent harm to festival goers.
“One of the big risks when people take these drugs is overheating which can result in organ damage and death,”
“We need to ask whether we, as a council, should be imposing more conditions like mandatory free water and more proactive medical treatment such as (first aid officers or medical professionals) walking through the crowd and trying to spot people in trouble."
Though the call for banning events on very hot days will certainly be controversial, these sorts of common sense harm reduction measures are vital to making music events safer, and reducing the frequency of deaths and injuries. It's unlikely that an outright ban on hot days would ever get the support to be enacted, but requiring festivals to provide services to mitigate the harmful effects of extreme heat seems like a great idea.
She also had some sharp words regarding the drug war and the "zero-tolerance" policy it creates.
“This isn’t about stopping people taking drugs it’s about stopping people from dying,” she said.
“We can’t be so naive to think that having a zero-tolerance policy (towards drugs) will work so there needs to be a review into what can be done to reduce the risk of another death.
“Young people are going to continue taking these drugs and this whole war-on-drugs attitude has proven to be an absolute failure.”