Atlanta Dance Music Festival TomorrowWorld Takes Drug Precautions After Electric Zoo Deaths


(from Billboard, September 27, 2013) Fulton County, Georgia has taken a risk in booking the electronic music festival known worldwide as TomorrowWorld (TW). When the pitch was brought to the commissioner’s attention, he was apprehensive about bringing this caliber of event to the humble roots of suburban Atlanta. This three day event will have an estimated 150,000 concertgoers from 75 countries, 30,000 of them campers. The biggest concern is not crowd control itself, but rather the drug issues that come with these types of occasions.

Recently another festival, Electric Zoo, had two fatalities and several people hospitalized in New York City. The city’s medical examiner’s office reported the cause was from overdoses of MDMA, known as Molly, which forced the last day of the event to be cancelled. Drug use in concerts such as these are well known and almost expected, thus making the planners of TW take extra precautions. Shawn Kent, U.S. Project Director for ID&T, the Belgian company producing TW, stated, “We’re a zero tolerance festival. If you’re caught with an illegal substance, then you’re out. We communicated with our fans very clearly that it’s not acceptable.” Tomorrowland, which started in 2005, is one of Europe’s largest music festivals to crossover to the United States and will make its debut in America with the Friday kickoff.

Exotic decorations and 3-D elements will surround internationally known DJs such as Avicii, David Guetta and Diplo among some 300 others. The eight stages are spread throughout 500 acres of farmland along the Chattahoochee River. An age of 21 and over is required with security measures such as standard body checks, spot checks on cars, ID checks, and under cover security guards patrolling the area.

Partnering with TW is an organization called DanceSafe that provides information on alcohol consumption, drugs and safe sex. They understand the strain of policing massive amounts of theses enthusiasts and are very prepared with ten years of experience. Being fully aware that any major event could have problems, Kent also mentioned that they have worked closely with the local hospital and will be equipped for whatever happens.