It seems as though Electric Adventure’s time in the Jersey Shore will be a one and done experience. Officials report that of the 6,000 attendees, 42 were arrested and 34 people were treated for drug overdose. The festival, which featured Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, DJ Snake, GTA and Headhunterz, was making its debut in Seaside Heights after two years at the Six Flags in New Jersey. Both Mayor Bill Akers and Ocean County prosecutor Joseph Coronato came out against the festival, with the former saying that they are “taking a hard look at the value of this type of event.” But, considering the economic impact that music festivals have, it’s hard to believe that the festival will be permanently cancelled, and that the end result will be similar to the Ultra Music Festival ruling. Paul Boci, a 21 year old who attended the event, said that the security pat down wasn’t thorough enough, insinuating that it was easy to sneak drugs in. He said the mostly teenage crowd was “partying like adults; throwing up, drinking, getting hammered.” There has been no official statement yet from the Electric Adventure organizers.
This incident once again brings up the age-old debate between all-ages events and 18+. In this case, as is per the usual, people point at the age requirement and immediately assume that it is the main problem. As we have found time and time again, from Electric Zoo to Zedd to Avicii, age does not matter when it comes to drug overdoses, and usually the ones who are most at harm are people who are of age. The real problem lies with both lax security and the mentality of concert-goers. When the security is lax, people are able to sneak drugs in and take them within the festival. If security is overly strict, people will take as many drugs as they can before they get in, which usually leads to the overdoses. Perhaps one day promoters will realize that the solution is education and responsibility on the behalf of the individual, a fact which was completely missed by Electric Zoo’s “Anti-Drug PSA,” which completely misses the education aspect and methods of taking care of yourself and instead makes a pseudo-attempt to convince people to instead abstain from using, because we’ve learned that prohibition works so well. Until something radical is done these types of occurrences will continue, but the effort has to start at the very top. We hope that Electric Adventure can continue on in the Northeast, and hopefully as a community we can assist in lowering the numbers of these sorts of incidents at every festival.