Grammy-winning DJ and producer Avicii and the electronic dance music (EDM) culture have earned quite a tarnished reputation over the last 12-months.
More than a hundred EDM fans have been hospitalized at Avicii concerts in recent weeks, with hundreds more requiring on-scene medical treatment directly related to drug and alcohol abuse.
The latest incident on the Swedish DJ’s tour occurred at Boston's TD Garden on Wednesday, June 25, where more than 50 concertgoers required on-scene medical treatment and another 36 were transported to hospitals.
"Fortunately no one was seriously injured. Mostly underage kids involved in alcohol and or some illicit drugs," Boston EMS deputy superintendent Mike Bosse told the Boston Herald.
All 36 victims were admitted to Boston medical centers with non-life-threatening symptoms, brought on by a combination of heat, alcohol, and drugs – namely the popular EDM-drug MDMA, commonly referred to as ecstasy or “Molly.” Those requiring hospitalization were all between the ages of 16 and 25.
Bosse also indicated that a large number of Avicii concertgoers were “clearly intoxicated” upon arrival to the event. Boston Police Licensing Division issued TD Garden – the concert’s venue – a citation for allowing intoxicated persons to enter.
EDM’s Bad Reputation
The Boston incident is the latest in a slew of EDM-related concert medical emergencies. Just one week ago, the Electric Daisy Carnival rolled into Las Vegas – with Avicii among those scheduled to perform. During the three day festival, a reported 800 people were treated for medical conditions on-scene, while another 25 required hospitalization. Tragically, two Electric Daisy Carnival concertgoers died, with the official cause of death still undetermined.
Last month, Avicii once again found his 2014 North American tour shrouded in controversy. While performing in Toronto, 29 concertgoers were hospitalized due to drug- and alcohol-related illnesses.
After wrapping up his show in Boston, DJ Avicii, whose real name is Tim Bergling, tweeted out condolences to the injured fans and their families. His 2014 North American tour will wrap up this week after shows in Bristow, VA, Brooklyn, NY, and a final return to perform Vegas.
The Rise of Molly Overdoses
With a rise in EDM concert popularity, officials are seeing more ecstasy-related overdoses. A few tragedies in the last 12-months include:
- Last year, three concertgoers overdosed on Molly at Boston’s House of Blues, including a 19-year-old woman who died as a result.
- In New York, two people attending the Electric Zoo festival died as a result of MDMA overdose.
- While attending Washington’s club Echostage, a young woman overdosed on ecstasy and was pronounced dead at a local hospital hours later.