Is Coachella Really That Dangerous?

Categories: Coachella

dangerouscoachella.jpg
Timothy Norris
By: Andrea Domanick
On Thursday, Coachella attendee Kimchi Truong died after an apparent overdose. It's believed to be the first death tied to the giant annual festival since 2008 - though the actual number is hard to ascertain, since the Riverside County Coroner's Office says it does not track them.

But as always happens when a young person ODs at a music festival, parents and onlookers alike are wondering: Just how safe are these bacchanals? Should they be shut down entirely? Or should we just be glad there aren't more fatalities?

People have been dying at music festivals for as long as those events have been held, but the MDMA era and the rise of the popularity of electronic dance music (EDM) in the U.S. has drawn scrutiny to dance festivals. And, with its increasing focus on this genre, Coachella shares a similar demographic draw.

A pair of deaths at last year's Electric Zoo festival in New York prompted the city to shut down the gathering, while six fatalities have been tied to Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival festivals in Los Angeles, Austin and Las Vegas in recent years.

All were drug- or alcohol-related, though the two Vegas deaths happened under peculiar circumstances: A woman said to be under the influence of ecstasy jumped out of a window, and a drunk man was hit trying to cross the street outside the festival grounds.



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32 comments
GrimJimCrowley
GrimJimCrowley

Given the handful of deaths among the thousands and thousands of attendees, I'd say there are good odds that you're NOT going to die of a drug overdose at one of these concerts. I'd say it's not fair to shut them down due to a minute percentage of people who are irresponsible. 

Bob Knoll
Bob Knoll

well if ya dumb enough to take drugs so be it

Susan Garcia
Susan Garcia

NO, if your going to a concert and start taking drugs to have fun that's on yourself.. Nobody made this girl take drugs and cause her to died..If you go to ANY concerts your on your own to take drugs, nobody forcing you to do it..so the concerts are not Dangerous...people are to them self

Tom Crawford
Tom Crawford

The stupidity of one (or several) should not result in mass punishment for those who weren't as stupid.

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor

Thanks for your opinion. Name me an influential and talented musician who doesn't and has never used drugs or alcohol. Christian rock doesn't count. There have been maybe 5 good straight edge bands ever. Every influential act from the 60s on have used some drugs, whether cannabis, LSD, MDMA, or heroin. Most of the greatest were famous for their drug and alcohol consumption. Without psychedelics in particular, music today would sound completely different than it does. Their influence is everywhere and in every meaningful genre of music. You might want to cling to some outdated puritanical notions but factually you know I'm right. And Puritan music sucks.

Walter Grant Thornburgh
Walter Grant Thornburgh

That person died from drugs, not from Coachella. It's a music festival not a drug festival and if someone dies from a drug overdose then it's on them and not the event. It's not like they're selling crack there.

Stephen Zamora
Stephen Zamora

Jonathan Taylor, you are an idiot if you think music can't be the same without drugs or alcohol. Just a big dumb ass. Your name will probably be the next one we read about

Dorian Jones
Dorian Jones

Coachella's not dangerous at all... now if you're self destructive, that's another thing.

Aaron Roach
Aaron Roach

If event employees themselves are giving people lethal doses of drugs, then yes the event should be shut down. I haven't seen it suggested that that's what happened. I'm no fan of these events, but they shouldn't be blamed when somebody ODs. Shut down the event and people will find (or create) another one.

Claudia Isabel Luckey
Claudia Isabel Luckey

It should not be shut down. Everyone is an adult. They are responsible for their own actions.

Marcel Bcc
Marcel Bcc

The Network that everyone watches? That Fox News?

Noel Rodriguez
Noel Rodriguez

Man fuck that bitch that died, first it was that stupid bitch that died at EDC 09 in LA and now EDC had to be moved to Vegas ugh and now this? the venue is not the problem it's the fucking idiots doing drugs

Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones

how can a festival be dangerous? it's the stupidity of the people who attend that make it dangerous.....to themselves...

Chad Macy
Chad Macy

If someone dies by gunfire, should guns be "shut down?" Oh. That's a touchy subject...

David Quesada
David Quesada

Its not a proper music festival until kids start ODing.

John Santana
John Santana

I have been to so many concerts without any of this and when looking around i noticed everyone having a good time. I am a true music enthusiast and I know others feel the same. I know for many it is a excuse to drink and do drugs but those are the ones who don't truly appreciate the music and should stay home or go to a bar or something. I enjoy concerts and it is even better when everyone around me is enjoying the music and not 30 conversations where everyone is buzzed trying to talk over others and myself and others cannot enjoy the music that we spent out time to go out and enjoy. If you want to get high or drunk please do it elsewhere so the ones who want to enjoy the music can enjoy what they paid for. We don't want to hear your conversations, your bumping into us and stepping on our feet and constant having to cross the chairs or crowd because you have to use the restroom. I have also been to many concerts where the musician has had to ask the rude talkers to be quiet so they can perform. Please be courteous and do your business elsewhere. If only everyone could control alcohol then maybe it could be allowed but that is not the case and the reality is it needs to be stopped so the rest can enjoy.

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor

Eliminate those substances and watch all the music you love disappear. Sorry, but we all know it's true.

John Santana
John Santana

Eliminate all drug and alcohol substances and watch the problems diminish. I have been to thousands of concerts and the majority of the time those are two things that don't help a situation. Even in the general public those substances cause many issues.

Jeff Blay
Jeff Blay

I have really appreciated your hard hitting, completely non-alarmist coverage of Coachella. When did you guys become part of the Fox News Network?

Wendy De La Puente
Wendy De La Puente

Bliss Fest in Northern Michigan is just about the same. This annual festival full of drug using losers. Most recently a girl was thrown into a fire pit. This world would be a much better place SOBER. Ugh, how annoying!

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor

By the way, this story links to a story by Dennis Romero which is full of absurd factual errors. Yes, MDMA itself can kill you but how many deaths has it actually caused where alcohol or other drugs were not involved? Extremely few. And if the people stay properly hydrated and don't take a ridiculous amount then how many? Hardly any. Period.

Lamano Conpelos
Lamano Conpelos

re educate people and not even guns would be dangerous or a problem.

Pete Bolin
Pete Bolin

Just say no drugs...and leave the rest of us alone

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor

Harm reduction: free pill or powder testing, free unlimited cold water, medical personnel on site. Let concertgoers freely use cannabis. All of these measures will save lives.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Excellent post. 

"...Because you know all those artists who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives over the years?....RRRRRrreal fuckin' high on drugs...!"


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