Organizers of summer music festivals are increasing drug screening, after four people died at festivals last year. The deaths were linked to the club drug Molly.
Concertgoers should expect sniffer dogs, pat-downs and other drug screening measures, Reuters reports. Music festivals will provide medical tents with doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians.
In April, organizers of New York’s Electric Zoo three-day event said this year fans will be required to view an anti-drug public service announcement online in order for their festival wristbands to activate. The event will start later in the day, to reduce exposure to the sun. In addition, the organizers will scrutinize vendors more closely. The festival may place “amnesty bins” at the gates, so fans can drop off illicit substances before they are searched. “We are redoubling our efforts at the gate,” said Dr. Andrew Bazos, medical supervisor for show organizer SFX Entertainment.
In 2013, the last day of Electric Zoo was canceled after two concertgoers died after taking Molly. Medical experts say club drugs are especially dangerous when they are taken in warm temperatures by people who are dehydrated and who exert themselves at all-day events.
Last year’s Electric Zoo festival included safety measures such as on-site emergency treatment centers, free bottled water, and periodic safety announcements. After the event, the promoters brought together an advisory board of doctors, security consultants and DJs to prevent future drug-related deaths.