Is Coachella Really That Dangerous?
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.