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May Wilkerson May Wilkerson

Video: Electric Zoo Music Festival’s Overblown Anti-Molly PSA

Overdoses at music festivals have been a problem. But this over-the-top video isn't a very effective solution.

6 Substance

Overdoses at music festivals have been all over the news lately. And now, attendees at New York’s annual Electric Zoo electronic music festival will be required to watch an anti-drug PSA (below), titled “The Molly,” on gigantic video screens before entering festival grounds. In the video, a drugged-out festival-goer behaves the way you would behave if you were doing an over-the-top impersonation of a person on Molly (MDMA). He is “feeling it and vibing it” so hard that he freaks out the girl he’s trying to impress, sweats profusely, and then has a panic attack and, presumably, an overdose. (Either that or his friends just disappeared, which is not a known side effect of drug use.) It ends with a warning: ”Don’t miss the moment. Be present. Avoid the risks.”

The video does have a point: Staying ”present” to actually appreciate the music you paid to listen to isn’t a bad idea. And the concerns swirling around Molly use are not totally unfounded: Last year, the third day of the festival was cancelled after two festival-goers died from suspected overdoses. On the other hand, this is such an overblown dramatization that it’s hard to imagine anyone taking the video too seriously.

One of the main risks of combining drug use and music festivals is dehydration; reminding young people to drink fluids (other than Red Bull and vodka) would be more useful than a fear-mongering, middle-school-style PSA.