With the deaths of two young electronic dance music lovers still fresh on the minds of every club goer out there, there have been a lot of words spoken, and typed, about what to do next. With industry insiders worrying about the knock on effect of potential sponsors pulling their funding of large events, to avoid the bad press of being associated with drugs, there is a great deal of damage control being put into place. More importantly, people are now enforcing the message of how to be safe in a club environment.
One such company doing their best to spread the message is Beatport
. Yesterday, they released a statement which touched more on "suggestions" rather than cold, hard facts.
Now, as much as we strongly agree with drug education, the content, and the way in which Beatport
sent out their message, leaves a lot of unanswered questions and had raised eyebrows in the dance music industry. You see, drug use, namely Ecstasy
, is a problem in our society in general, and if someone like Beatport
are going to come out with a message relating to drug use and keeping safe, then they need to make sure it's a very clear message which is aimed at everyone, not just those in our scene.
In the message, they open with, "To all our friends in the dance-music community."
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but should we not be addressing EVERYONE
who attends ALL
music festivals and events across the U.S. (and the world, because Beatport
is a global site) and not singling out the dance music community? I mean, let's be honest with each other here. People take drugs at all kinds of music festivals and, yes, people die at them too. Drug use is not just a "dance music community" problem.
Last year's Lollopalloozo
drug related medical emergencies. We're all aware that Lollopalooza
is predominately a rock festival, yes? In Chicago
alone, there have been 41
drug overdoses in the city's numerous music events. MUSIC
events, not DANCE
music events. So where was the "take drugs sensibility" message then? Coachella
, Voodoo Festival
, and Burning Man
all had drug related deaths. Where was the outcry in the press then? Where was the message from the big companies after those events?
You see, where Beatport
have failed here is not in their message. They've failed in the delivery of it. By singling out the dance music community, Beatport
have just made it open season for the media to target our scene for it's drug use, something we MUST avoid at all costs. We all agree that the days of striking fear into people who use drugs are long gone. In a world where the youth have been dumbed down due to instantly accessible information from the web, social media, 24/7 news channels and reality TV, the sight of someone on their deathbed, hooked up to life support after taking one too many hits of Molly, with the message of, "It could happen to you," is not as powerful as it once was. What we must do is teach people how to take drugs responsibly, because let's face it, you're never going to stop it. Even if it saves one life, it will be worth it.
However, let's NOT single out the dance music industry in a time when we have stick together and prove to all the people out there that we're NOT a bunch of drug abusing, repetitive beat loving, live fast, die young monsters. If we're going to send the message Beatport
TRIED to send, let's send it to EVERY person who attends music events and festivals who WILL comes into contact with drugs, be it through them or their friends. Let's not make unsupported statements like "Drinking lots of water has always been encouraged, and drinking water is good… But, be aware that drinking too much plain water can be dangerous!
" Let's provide evidence of this. An example would be Leah Betts
, the UK's most high profile ecstasy death, when she "drowned" herself by drinking too much water, to avoid overheating, and her brain became swollen, making her collapse and slip into a coma, dying a week later.
If you're going to tell us a way to stay safe, such as saying, "Like athletes in sporting events, your body needs to replace the minerals AND the water it is losing in sweat. Sports drinks (for example, Gatorade and Powerade) provide these essential electrolytes and should supplement the water you drink to rehydrate,"
then back it up with evidence of where it's helped and how you came to find this information.
Why? Because we want to know what to do if we are faced with a potential life or death situation. We don't want to watch someone die in front of us from a drug overdose. And I'm sure someone at the next rock or hip hop concert wants to know what to do too.
All we're asking is that the people who have the reach and means to make a difference, do so without throwing us all under the bus and make sure it's the correct information which is sent to the correct audience.
Check out the message below:
To all our friends in the dance-music community:
We want you to dance and play, enjoy the music and the experiences. But please take care of yourselves and each other.
At events, people often enjoy vigorous physical activity including dancing; people will sometimes get sick from overheating and dehydration. Drinking lots of water has always been encouraged, and drinking water is good… But, be aware that drinking too much plain water can be dangerous!
Some of the illnesses and deaths surrounding music events have been associated with low levels of electrolytes that are lost along with water when one becomes dehydrated. Such low levels of electrolytes, especially salt, can lead to brain swelling, seizures, heart problems, and even death. Like athletes in sporting events, your body needs to replace the minerals AND the water it is losing in sweat. Sports drinks (for example, Gatorade and Powerade) provide these essential electrolytes and should supplement the water you drink to rehydrate.
Some drugs like MDMA (Molly, ecstasy, etc.) can make low electrolyte levels worse and increase your chances of harm. Beatport does not endorse or condone their use, but if you or someone around you needs help and has taken something that you are concerned about, it is important that you tell someone in charge who can help.