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Electric Zoo: Music Festival Canceled Due To Alleged Drug-Related Deaths

Mon, September 2, 2013 10:01am EDT by 5 Comments
Electric Zoo Canceled

The three-day NYC electronic dance music festival was supposed to be bigger than ever this year, but it may have been too much of good thing. After two concertgoers died from alleged drug use, organizers were forced to abruptly cancel the final day. Is this the end of E-Zoo as we know it?

Going on five years, Electric Zoo has been a mecca for EDM (electronic dance music) fans to flock to on Labor Day Weekend to dance, party, and hear their favorite artists perform. But tragedy hit the 2013 festival when two attendees died, causing E-Zoo’s organizer to shut the whole thing down.

Two Dead At Electric Zoo

The concertgoers died during the first two days of the festival, Aug. 30 and 31, according to the New York Times. Both deaths were reportedly consistent with the use of the drug MDMA, otherwise known as Molly or Ecstasy. The two concertgoers were identified as Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, NY and Olivia Rotondo, 20, of Providence, RI.

“The founders of Electric Zoo send our deepest condolences to the families of the two people who passed away this weekend,” organizers said in a statement.

Just hours before the third day was set to begin, the New York City mayor’s office recommend that Made Event, the festival’s promoter, cancel the remaining concerts. They did so swiftly, disappointing thousands of hopeful partiers. Many tweeted that they were being punished for others’ mistakes, according to the Times. All ticket-holders will be refunded.

Electric Zoo’s Biggest Year Ends Abruptly & Tragically

E-Zoo was bigger than ever this year, with a new extra stage and headlining acts like KrewellaAvicii, and David Guetta. Over 100,000 people flocked to Randall’s Island in NYC over the course of two days wearing glitter-encrusted outfits and costumes and engaging in pure revelry. But the dark underside of rave parties has always been their connection to drugs. And allegedly Electric Zoo is not an exception.

MDMA has become the go-to drug for this party scene, and the risks can be grave. Made Event reportedly took all necessary precautions — hiring over 500 security guards, requiring concertgoers to go throw five security checkpoints, providing free water, and staffing five medical tents and over a dozen on-site ambulances — but in a setting with so many people, things can slip through the cracks and medical help can really only be given when it’s sought out. And the party itself really only exacerbates the negative effects of the party drug.

Will Electric Zoo Return?

So what will happen to Electric Zoo? Is its five-year run over as more and more become aware of the alleged dangerous side effects of festival? As of now it remains unclear whether E-Zoo will return to NYC, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s press secretary only stating, “We are examining what occurred at this weekend’s event.”

One thing is for sure — there is now an extremely dark cloud over the usual happy neon, glittery hues of Electric Zoo.

WATCH: Electric Zoo 2013 Official Trailer

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— Andrew Gruttadaro

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