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Drug Deaths Threaten Rising Business of Electronic Music Fests

Thursday, October 3, 2013   (0 Comments)

New York Times (09/10/13) Sisario, Ben; McKinley Jr., James C.

The electronic dance music (EDM) business is threatened by a recent spate of drug-related fatalities, including at least seven since March involving young people attending dance events who overdosed on recreational drugs. Executives say such incidents could potentially discourage investors and corporate sponsors keen to profit from EDM's fans, who trend toward youth, affluence, and technological connection. The recent deaths occurred before an expected initial public offering by SFX Entertainment, whose prosperity hinges on sponsorship and media deals for EDM. SFX CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman says the company is dedicated to providing a safe environment, and that as dance music "has grown from uncontrollable rave parties to professionally run festivals and events, it in fact provides the opportunity to provide health and safety guidance." Dance world advocates say they are being targeted by the media. "The scrutiny that this is going to come under because of the stock market deal with SFX, it's like a magnifying glass that's unfair," argues Swedish House Mafia manager Amy Thomson. Many of the most notable branding deals in the EDM world have been linked to artists, but such sponsorship pales besides that for rock and pop events.


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