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Electric Zoo Festival Cancelled Following Drug-Related Deaths

Electric Zoo Festival
Daniel Zuchnik, Getty Images

Organizers pulled the plug on the Electric Zoo music festival earlier today (Sept. 1) following what appears to have been a pair of drug-related deaths.

The event had drawn some 100,000 EDM fans to Randall’s Island in New York City, and according to a statement on the city’s website, public officials and festival organizers agreed to cancel the third and final day after two deaths and a series of hospitalizations.

“During the first two days of the Electric Zoo music festival, two concert-goers have died and at least four others became critically ill and have been placed in intensive care at area hospitals,” the statement reads. “Definitive causes of death have not yet been determined, however, both appear to have involved the drug MDMA (ecstasy, or molly). The Electric Zoo organizers have worked with City officials to reduce health risks at this event, but in view of these occurrences, the safest course is to cancel the remaining day of the event.”

In a message posted on Electric Zoo’s official website, the event’s founders sent their “deepest condolences to the families” of the deceased, identified as Olivia Rotondo, 20, of Providence, R.I., and Jeffrey Russ, 24, of Rochester, N.Y.

“Because there is nothing more important to us than our patrons, we have decided in consultation with the New York City Parks Department that there will be no show today,” the statement concludes.

Founded in 2009, Electric Zoo is among the nation’s leading electronic music festivals, and according to Time Out New York, it “transforms Randall’s Island into an Ibiza on the East River every Labor Day.” This years lineup included such superstar DJs as Avicii, David Guetta and Tiesto.

See Our 2013 Music Festival Guide

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