Festival Etiquette – What’s the Problem?

Author : Eric Kwon
November 10, 2014

Festival Etiquette – What’s the Problem?


Electronic dance music festivals are one of the greatest experiences in the world. We can’t deny that electronic music has had an incredible influence in our pop culture in North America. Electric Daisy Carnival, Movement, TomorrowWorld, Ultra Music Festival, BPM Festival, the list goes on. People from all walks of life get together in one place to celebrate the music we love. It’s an amazing experience. However, with the good comes the bad.

Electronic Music Festivals have been increasing in frequency and size. Some festivals attract over 100,000 attendees in one night. At the end of the night, when the lights turn on, you can see why some people disagree with throwing a festival. Why is it so hard for you to throw your garbage in the trash?   Not only is the festival venue trashed, but the surrounding area is also littered with garbage. This is unacceptable! I think we can all take a page from Burning Man and “leave no trace.” It doesn’t take that much more effort to place your trash in the trash can. Let’s be responsible adults, please. This is just one of many problems that can be easily fixed if we actually try. But we all know that this isn’t the main issue.

The real issue, in my opinion, is the drugs.  It seems that Electronic Music Festivals aren’t able to shake its stigma: drugs. It’s easy to see why these festivals have this stigma. Does this sound familiar? You’re dancing to your favorite DJ, when a train of people holding hands comes trampling through you and your friends while sucking on a pacifier with their eyes rolling into their skulls. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I’ve been to festivals where the kids are sitting on the sidewalk, unresponsive due to too much alcohol and/or drugs, OUTSIDE the gate. They can’t even make it into the festival before getting completely destroyed. I have personally seen people being dragged away in stretchers at music festivals. It is definitely a problem when festival attendees are dying from drug use. I think it’s time for the veterans in the community to step forward and guide the youngsters. I commend Dance Safe for keeping people informed when it comes to health and safety in the electronic dance music community. Well done! Let’s face it; drugs will always be an ongoing issue everywhere. We will never be able to completely fix this problem. However, we can prevent deaths. The electronic dance music community needs to be more proactive rather than turning a blind eye.

I’m sure you can agree with me, I want the electronic dance music community to grow and thrive in this world. We don’t need any amateurs messing that up for the people that love and respect this community. So remember this the next time you attend an electronic music festival.