Music festivals are places of love, where people from all over the world can come together to celebrate each other and indulge in pure happiness. Yet with the shadow of the recent hospitalizations and deaths involving drug use at festivals, now more than ever the EDM community understands how important it is to come together and talk about safety in order to look out for one another at these spiritual yet sometimes dangerous events.
Festivals are so often safe and loving places, full of friends and medics ready to help anyone who seems to be struggling, but as of late the care and concern of the attendees has not been enough to save the lives of those in danger. Many might preach abstinence in times like these, but history has shown before in the matters of safe sex and teenage drinking that abstinence is the best answer, but not the only way to keep yourself and others safe. People will do as they desire. The proper approach to festivalgoers who choose to indulge in illegal drugs and end up in a bad way should not be blind punishment, but help and compassion.
Understanding the risks and spreading awareness is the most effective way to save lives. DanceSafe understands this. The company is a non-profit organization that does amazing work providing vital harm reduction services to electronic dance music scenes across America. They have been a leading advocate for life-saving harm reduction in the EDM community since 1998. They are best known for their work with adulterant-testing, giving attendees at shows free drug tests to ensure the users know what they are taking.
This is a short list of what DanceSafe does, from their official site:
- Provide safe spaces to engage in conversations about health, drug use, and personal safety
- Provide free water and electrolytes to prevent dehydration and heatstroke;
- Provide free safe sex tools to avoid unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STIs;
- Provide free ear plugs to prevent hearing loss;
- Provide honest, fact-based, unbiased information on drug effects and potential harms to empower users to make informed decisions;
- Offer a nonjudgmental first-point of contact to risky or challenging situations;
- Offer drug checking services to prevent overdose and death; and
- Work with promoters and local stakeholders to advocate for safety first approaches.
DanceSafe is hosting a fundraiser on April 10, in Denver, CO at The Church nightclub. The first annual DanceSafe FundRager will feature a day of educational discussions, panels, yoga, and workshops, followed by a night of amazing dance music. If you are in Colorado, I encourage you to educate yourself and have a good time doing it. Even if you’re not driving distance from the event, donate if you can to support the life-saving work they do. DanceSafe takes the initiative to educate young people in a compassionate and relatable way, paving the road for future organizations to approach those struggling with drug use with love and understanding. Full details for the event can be found below.