Is Ecstasy Killing Concert Fans One Show At Time?

Last year we shared with you several stories about DJ Tiesto concerts.

Some of those stories were about great and amazing conversions and others were about unfortunate and tragic stories of concert fans losing their lives at summer music festivals.

Here at Live Fix we don’t like to always focus on or talk about the sad and terrible things that happen at concerts, but sometimes we need to.

And when the situation calls for it, we feel it’s necessary to explore and better understand the topics that impact the lives and physical health of concert fans.

DJ Tiesto, Ecstasy and Concert Fan Overdoses

We’ve been following several stories over the last year that involve the use of ecstasy at concerts, and more specifically the connection between a series of ecstasy overdoses at DJ Tiesto concerts and other rave-style electronic dance shows.

Yes, unfortunately drugs often are a part of the pleasure and rush of the live concert experience.

And often during our favorite concert moments drug use can be deceptively pleasureful and actually make the concert worse when we think it’s enhancing the concert experience.

That said, what we’re going to talk about here is nothing new.

And it troubles me because any time I hear about a fellow concert fan dying at a show, from drug use or any other reason, my heart sinks and my heart goes out to those that are left behind to mourn the loss.

I think back to my interview with Mark in the video above and wonder what I would do if I found out that he died from an ecstasy overdose at concert.

So what we’re going to explore in this post is a series of stories involving the use of Ecstasy at raves and DJ Tiesto concerts in hopes that we can begin to better understand what’s going on and how the situation is impacting the lives of concert fans.

In 2006, DJ Mag reported a story about a concert fans dying from an ecstasy overdose at an Indonesian concert, and in 2010 and ongoing story involving the overdose death of 15-year old concert fan at a Electric Daisy concert in Los Angeles concert resulted in renewed controversy about rave concerts and the related drug risks.

And a third overdose story was reported in June of 2010 by SFist involving another fan at the Cow Palace.

How Do the Deaths Impact the L.A. Rave Scene?

In the wake of the Electric Daisy deaths, this Los Angles Times story reported on the L. A. rave scene and the legal impact of the ecstasy-related deaths on future shows being held at local venues.

Now, that’s the latest vibe in Los Angeles, and then sadly enough later in 2010 two more deaths were reported at rave-style concerts in Chicago.

The first one was posted by the Chicago News Report about a fan who died from an ecstasy overdose during a Halloween night Bassnector show at the Aragon Ballroom.

And then later in November another fan died from an ecstasy overdose at the DJ Tiesto concert at the UIC Pavilion, which Neon Tommy says has prompted Chicago officials to look deeper into the situation.

“… a 20-year-old male collapsed and become unresponsive at a Tiesto concert on Nov. 20 at the University of Illinois, Chicago Pavilion. He died shortly after at Rush University Medical Center. The cause of his death won’t be determined until January. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office spokeswoman said they are doing a toxicology report—a sign that drugs and/or alcohol may have been involved, though to be clear nothing is certain.”

And then on December 1, 2011, connecting the Los Angeles overdose stories with a developing story in Chicago, Neon Tommy also reported:

The only event expected to be held early next year is the Electric Daisy Carnival in June. The venues typically hold a total of four electronic music events yearly. Before the Coliseum can sign a contract with event promoter Insomniac to host the Carnival, the commissioners will have to sign off on plans to keep the attendees safe.

The decision marks yet another temporary compromise in a six-month saga about the fate of the events in L.A. County since a 15-year-old girl died in June at the Carnival. The electronic music events are commonly known as raves. The commission lifted a moratorium on raves in November, but three commissioners who were absent from the meeting were angered that the vote took place without them there.

As the SFist story and the other stories point out, canceling the shows doesn’t solve the larger problem at hand, because we all know that canceling shows doesn’t really do anything to help the fans in the long run and only protects the promoters and venues owners from being legally responsible.

On a deeper level, as the Neon Tommy story points out, the issue is more grass roots and personal, and it is related to how the drugs are being sold and distributed at shows.

And after speaking with experts about the use and effects of ecstasy, I’ve also come to realize that the drug use behaviors of the fans and how they’re getting the ecstasy is also playing a major role. And that’s what we need to understand and educate our fellow fans about.

Again, I’m not passing judgment on anyone who uses drugs, but nonetheless in situations like this my heart does break for the families and friends who suffer from the deaths caused by the ecstasy overdoses.

And when ever I hear about stories like these, I just think how sad it is because it didn’t have to happen at all. It could have been prevented.

And it’s also sad because the focus is taken away from the life-changing music experience, and the focus unfortunately is on the early death of the fan and how rave concerts are all bad because of the drug use, which is not true at all.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on these developing stories, and we’ll continue to take a closer look at how ecstasy influences our concert experiences on all levels: physically, sociologically, psychologically and spiritually.

But in the meantime, we’d like to hear from you about this tragic and controversial topic.

What do you think about the use of ecstasy at raves and concerts? The comments are all yours.

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