The EDM scene is still reeling over this weekend's unprecedented cancellation of E-Zoo's day three, a cancellation that occurred after two kids in their early 20s OD'd and multiple concert-goers were hospitalized. It was unclear at the time what really caused the drug-related deaths. Dehydration over the hot, humid Saturday? Over-consumption of water? A bad batch laced, possibly, with methamphetamine?
Nope. At least one person may have died from an old-fashioned OD.
20-year-old Olivia Rotondo—a University of New Hampshire junior who tweeted hours prior to her death, "The amount of traveling I’ve done today is unreal. Just get me to the damn zoo"—told EMS workers that she "took six hits of Molly," before collapsing, suffering a seizure, and dying in a Manhattan hospital. "She was the nicest girl I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing," one friend told the New York Times.
The other victim, 23-year-old Syracuse grad Jeffery Russ, was not believed to know Rotondo. He passed away early Saturday morning, although the details of his death are less clear. And that's not all: At least 31 arrests were made Saturday, including two felony charges, and one 16-year-old was (probably) sexually assaulted. The Daily News says "a girl reported waking up under a van in the event’s parking lot Friday with her pants down and her legs scratched and bruised, cops said. She was treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell. The NYPD’s special victims unit is investigating.”
While some people tweeted about thoughtful medical staff and a safe environment, other accounts weren't so friendly: "Several concertgoers said they had seen dozens of people vomiting or 'passed out' on the grass after drinking alcohol or using drugs, and who did not appear to be attended by any medical staff. 'You saw a lot of people puking and collapsing down and laying on the ground,'" one 19-year-old told the Times. Others told the press about not even being patted down once.
It's difficult to really blame the promoters—who hired over 500 members of private security and medical personnel as they do other year—for the rampant issues. But for what it's worth: I think Saturday's reverberations will be felt for a while. Yesterday, at the Fool's Gold "Day Off" festival in Brooklyn, event thrower (and E-Zoo headliner) A-Trak and other performers made quite a few references to throwing an event "with good vibes" and "without ODs." Security patted down everyone. They will do the same at the next big EDM event. And drugs will be confiscated in greater numbers.
It's difficult also to imagine E-Zoo ever coming back to Randall's Island—can you imagne the Park's Department giving the event a permit?—or the lawlessness that's permeated the event to be replicated again. As Brandon tweeted over the weekend, the EDM scene is going to end up looking long and hard in the mirror over Saturday's problems. I'm not being so over-fucking-dramatic as to suggest this is the "Death of EDM." But certainly it's the end of something. Two high-profile deaths aren't good. This whole thing isn't good.