It has been a tough summer for live music. Right here in the Commonwealth, our summer tours have been overshadowed by numerous hospitalizations and an alleged rape at a recent Keith Urban concert. This past weekend in Maryland, two more young concertgoers passed away, and many more hospitalized at the Mad Decent Block Party tour, which stops in Boston tomorrow. Unfortunately, as the irresponsible actions of more and more attendees continue to make headlines, despite being a minuscule percentage of those who actually attend concerts for musical enjoyment, the hinder us in forming greater opportunities for live arts, both in boston and beyond.
Last year, Electric Zoo became one of the many festivals to experience tragedy, losing two young individuals to drug overdoses, and eventually canceling the final day due to safety. In response, this year the event has teamed up with James Manos Jr. (“The Sopranos,”The Shield”) to produce a public service announcement about the dangers of Molly and other drugs.
It’s hard to argue with the opinion that the video is a bit ridiculous, and will likely be mocked, but there’s something laudable about the festival’s approach. Attendees of this year’s event, which takes place August 29-31 on Randall’s Island in New York, will surely experience greater security measures. But instead of threatening its fans with penalties or intimidating them with an increased police presence, Electric Zoo’s organizers are putting at least one last pinch of faith in them, educating, even pleading with the kids to simply be safe.
Will it work? We’ll wait and see. Is it funny? Yes, a little bit.
But profuse sweat and constant friend-zoning aside, this is an issue that needs a greater dialogue from people who actually understand it. And that’s not to single out any genre, any festival, or young people as a whole. It’s simply needed to knock some sense into that .00001% who abuse the live music experience, because those people are really starting to rain on the collective parade.