The mood was festive Saturday, August 31 at Electric Zoo before two deaths caused the cancellation of its third day. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik, Getty Images)

By Brittany Ambrosino


Picture bright lights with even brighter outfits. Beats blasting so loud your heart feels as if it’s about to burst. It’s all about love and having endless fun, but what happens when that fun turns into the end of someone’s life? The recent events that occurred at the popular E-Zoo festival just a few short weeks ago have the country up in arms.

E-Zoo is an annual three day Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival held on New York City’s Randall’s Island every Labor Day. With thousands of concert goers every year, E-Zoo has grown to be one of the most popular music festivals around. 2013’s E-Zoo festival hosted today’s most popular EDM artists, such as Avicii, Bassnectar, Zedd, Steve Aoki, David Guetta, and  many more.

Unfortunately, E-Zoo is infamous for its drug use. Alcohol and the popular drug MDMA—more commonly known as Molly—are used frequently to liven people up and to have “fun.” The mix of drugs and alcohol proved fatal for two E-Zoo attendees who lost their lives due to an overdose. Four others were also hospitalized for the same reason. With the tragic news, Mayor Bloomberg made the decision to cancel the third and final day of E-Zoo, which caused uproar and sparked a division among concert-goers. Do you think it was the right decision for Bloomberg to cancel E-Zoo, or should it have kept going?

Mount Messenger decided to ask students and social media users about their opinion of E-Zoo, and whether or not and they found Bloomberg’s decision to be appropriate. Lexi Skalkowski, a sophomore, told Mount Messenger what she thought. “I think it’s really sad and unfortunate that people think they need to do drugs to enjoy the music. But at the same time it’s kind of unfortunate for the rest of us who don’t do drugs, and go to music festivals like that, because music is our drug and we don’t need other substances. People who do choose to take the drugs should look out for themselves. It’s their choice so they should do it responsibly so the rest of us don’t suffer,” Skalkowski explained.

Mount Messenger also decided to ask some Twitter users what they thought as well. Jordan DellaQuilla said, “I think that they should [increase] security and make sure no one has drugs on them. It’s sad that teens think they need drugs and alcohol in order to have fun. I don’t think if drugs and alcohol were made cool by movies, songs, and television that a lot of kids would turn to them.”  Ashley Anderson agreed with Bloomberg’s decision by saying, “I think it’s impossible to prevent those kinds of things at a festival like that, but they made the right decision by closing it down early. They should re-evaluate their rules and security to help prevent it in the future.”

On the opposing side, Hannah Capurro said, “If I had flown all the way in from out of the country to attend Electric Zoo and the last day was cancelled, I would have been extremely upset. I’m not really sure if they can do any sort of thing to prevent drug related deaths at EDM festivals…or any festival really. The regulations on what you can bring in [to the festival] and the pat down procedures and whatnot, are probably as thorough as they can really get. There are plenty of people who go to festivals and stay sober.”

Full refunds for the Sunday passes to E-Zoo were to be issued automatically, according to Madeevent.com. I guess we will have to wait until next year to see what changes are made to prevent an unfortunate event like this from occurring again.

Where do you stand? Was Bloomberg right in his decision to close down the last day of E-Zoo, whether it was for safety or respect for those lost? Or do you think it’s completely unfair for it to have been cancelled for those who were sober and excited for the best and final day?  Submit your opinion in a Letter to the Editor.