As a society, we all associate people with events in time. Just think about what you currently think of Miley Cyrus. As people, especially the American youth, we identify ourselves with the on goings of our time. Think back to the 60s, and the era of the flower child comes to mind. Flash back to the 80s, and you recall brightly colored clothing, high waist pants and the pre op king of pop Michael Jackson and his revolutionary music. In 20 years what will this decade be known for? As we bury our heads in our smart phones and stay plugged into the Internet, it is safe to say we are of the electronic generation.
Connection to our electronic devices, online social media, and electronic music are uniting factors of this generation. “Cause you are the piece of me, I wish I didn’t need.” If you can read that sentence without somewhat singing it, I applaud you. The phenomenon of electronic dance music, E.D.M., (including house, techno, trance, hardstyle, and dubstep) has taken this generation by storm. Heading to music festivals with your best friends, singing and dancing with other ravers and losing yourself in the music has become very popular.
Music festivals sell out quickly and bring together thousands to enjoy hard drops, insane bass and an environment in which everybody is in good spirits. Once the wristband is scanned one enters limited inhibition and unite under the music. This is what E.D.M is about. Good times, good vibes, good people. Yet like everything else there is a dark side to counter the positives. In recent times E.D.M. goers have had a drug of choice and it’s called Molly. The drug has also become popular talk after the famous Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance. Molly-also known as MDMA or ecstasy-has almost become synonymous with big festivals, and unfortunately has given the E.D.M. music scene a stigma that diverts focus from the music.
EZOO, the most recent music festival with a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, was held on Randall’s Island this past Labor Day weekend. This was a three-day music fest featuring some of the best DJ’s of the genre. Nearly 100,000 individuals gathered to end summer 2013 with a bang. Day 1 and 2 were enjoyed, yet the 3rd day was not held from an interruption caused by the drug. Although many believe Molly enhances the music, it should not be mistaken to be about drugs.
Unfortunately, during these performances there were numerous casualties due to Molly’s overbearing presence. The responsible reaction by the city of New York and event planners to shut down the 3rd day of the zoo immediately drew the attention of the media. As we are all “plugged in,” word instantly got around to further the stigma of E.D.M music festivals. Although it is a reality that people use drugs at raves, it is most definitely not all it is about. When listening to a good DJ live, one experiences a natural ecstasy. This is a concept that some ravers have seem to forgotten. Drug misuse by a few should not ruin the party for the masses.
These instances do little to gain a positive view of these events, yet festivals are a new market opportunity grossing $4.5 billion and rising. For many investors, this is not a number to overlook. Businesses looking to use these festivals to further their brands will utilize funds to ensure the safety of all those who partake in the events. Better security, free water tents and multiple first aid stations are becoming the focus of the event planners. Drug misuse will not hinder the profitability, although it may prevent certain companies to contribute just yet. Despite potential profit and the drug use, these festivals will always be about the music and the people who appreciate it.