Last year, two Electric Zoo attendees died from drug-related causes before the end of the New York EDM festival, prompting the cancellation of its final day and an uproar over the presence of drugs at festivals like Electric Zoo.
This year, Electric Zoo isn't taking any chances: They're ramping up security measures big time to (hopefully) prevent tragedy from striking the festival again.
Electric Zoo has yet to receive a permit for Labor Day Weekend on Randall's Island in New York City, where the festival has taken place for the past five years. But promoters Mike Bindra and Laura DePalma are moving full-speed ahead with fest preparations, which now include interactive safety features, scheduling change-ups and strict drug policies... should city officials grant them the permit.
Bindra and DePalma have said that drug-sniffing dogs, undercover security officers and pat-downs are what Electric Zoo festival goers will be subject to in 2014. "Amnesty bins"—dumping locations at the festival entrance for illicit substances pre-screening—are also up for discussion, as they've proven to be effective at TomorrowWorld and other major music events. Electric Zoo is also looking to minimize the timeframe of the festival, kicking things off later in the day to prevent patrons from baking in the sun.
For the first time since its inception, a PSA will be mandatory viewing for those interested in attending Electric Zoo. In order to activate the wristbands that gain them entry into the festival, ticket buyers will have to watch an anti-drug message delivered by some of the biggest DJs and artists in EDM.
With these new initiatives, here's hoping Electric Zoo's new policies lead to a fun, safe and secure festival in 2014.