In the growing wake of drug overdose deaths at summer concerts, one New York festival is making it a priority to educate concertgoers about the dangers of drug use.
The Electric Zoo Festival has launched a “Come to Life” campaign PSA, which was written and produced by Dexter creator/writer James Manos, Jr. and his 19-year-old daughter, Ellie Manos.
The two-minute video portrays a man inviting a girl to “roll” on MDMA during a festival performance. He is shown sweating profusely, speaking nonsensically and eventually hallucinating. The video ends with captions that read: “Don’t miss the moment. Be present. Avoid the risk.”
Those who arrive at the festival this year will be required to watch the video before they can enter. Only then will their wristbands will be activated. Made Event, the creators of Electric Zoo, are in full support of the campaign. They designated a section on the website for Come to Life, which states that Electric Zoo “strongly advocates against the use of drugs,” lists warning signs of a possible drug or alcohol overdose and indicates where medical help centers can be found on site.
“Our message to concertgoers is simple: The Electric Zoo experience is exceptional and worth being present for,” said Made Event founders Laura De Palma and Mike Bindra in a joint statement. “Molly can cause you to not only miss the moment, alienate your friends and have an overall adverse and unpleasant experience … but can also make you sick and can even be fatal. Fans will experience how great it is to ‘Come To Life’ at one of our concerts from lights, sounds and crowds.”
Drug-Related Deaths at Music Festivals
The final day of the Electric Zoo Festival was canceled last year after two attendees died from a reported mixture of Molly and other unregulated stimulants. In addition to the film, they will place amnesty bins throughout the site so that drugs can be discarded anonymously. Dr. Andrew Bazos, medical supervisor for show organizer SFX Entertainment, said the festival is also “redoubling our efforts at the gate this year” through increased security and drug searches.
Other music festivals, including the long-standing hippie fest in Tennessee known as Bonnaroo, took additional precautions this year to prevent drug overdoses and deaths after similar tragedies occurred across the country last year. One concertgoer died and another 100 were hospitalized at last year’s Seattle Music Festival from a batch of MDMA which contained cocaine, LSD and meth.
The Electric Zoo Festival is taking place in New York August 29 through 31.
Photos via electriczoofestival.com