Could Making All Dance Music Festivals 21+ Save Ravers' Lives?
LA Weekly writes that of the deaths that have occurred in raves in the past 10 years, none of them have happened at 21+ events
. Are 21+ events a worthy discussion?
Certainly drug experimentation comes with youth and inexperience, as does the recklessness surrounding it. However, would closing off events to an older ground prevent younger people from taking drugs? Or would it create more of a binge-drinking culture where kids are going to continue to do it, but in an environment even less safe than what they're currently experiencing?
Read the full story to come up with your own conclusion.This article originally appeared on LA Weekly
Every time someone dies following a rave or dance music festival, there's lots of guessing going on. The same guessing, in fact, has been happening for more than 20 years.
Often a "bad batch" of drugs is blamed. Lack of water is a common diagnosis among amateurs. Hot conditions paired with dancing is another observation. Sometimes even drinking too much water is blamed — and it's a legit malady. The point is, everyone's a forensic pathologist all of a sudden.
Prevention efforts have ranged from "harm reduction" — trying to teach ravers how to take ecstasy and other drugs safely — to law enforcement crackdowns, increased security and extra paramedics, chill-out rooms and free water — you name it. But in two decades, none of it has worked.
But one thing has: When events are limited to those 21-and-older, deaths are almost unheard of. Looking at a Los Angeles Times list of 24 rave deaths in the last 10 years, we couldn't find one event that was 21+.
In fact, the Times focused on Southern California promoters, such as Hard, that almost exclusively open their festival doors to the 18-and-older crowd.
Yes, the tragic deaths at Hard Summer near Fontana over the weekend involved two 22-year-olds and a San Diego woman who was 21. Cause of death will likely be unknown for weeks, until coroners' reports are made available.
But for whatever reason, 21-and-older parties just don't see this kind of thing. Why? Hard to say. It's possible the collective maturity of the crowd discourages wanton drug use; that drinking-age folks are experienced enough to avoid certain pitfalls; or that older patrons are just less likely to overwhelm on-site medical services.
"That's the best thing going for limiting it to 21 and older," said Gary Bongiovanni, president and editor-in-chief of concert bible Pollstar. "It's a better mindset. People aren't stumbling for the first time into the drug world."
Read the full story by Dennis Romero at LA Weekly