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New York Considers Return of Music Festival in Wake of Drug Deaths

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Officials in New York City are considering whether to allow the Electric Zoo electronic dance music festival to return to a city park next year, after two festival attendees died this August from drug overdoses. Mayor Michael Bloomberg canceled the last day of the festival this year.

The Wall Street Journal reports the city will seriously deliberate about whether it can safely host the festival, according to Assistant Parks Commissioner Betsy Smith. “I don’t know what the final decision will be,” she said. “It’s clearly a tragedy that these young people died at these events. We don’t want to encourage that in any way.”

City staff is conducting a review of the festival, which is likely to take months, Smith added. Officials could decide such concerts are safe if they provide stronger messaging against drug use, as well as tighter security, she said.

Organizers of the Electric Zoo festival say they are planning to apply for a permit next year. They said this year they provided extra security, water and reminders not to use drugs.

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