Music FestivalsNews

Lessons from the Mad Decent Boat Party Tragedy

Over the weekend, the EDM community was shocked with the news that a woman had gone overboard on the Mad Decent Boat Party, an EDM cruise featuring music and activities from some of Mad Decent’s top DJs. With the search officially suspended as of Saturday, our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

As with any tragedy in the EDM community, blogs and websites were quick to pick up the story and take various angles on it. Facebook and Twitter blew up, with people voicing vastly differing opinions. I spent a large part of my Thursday and Friday incredulously scrolling through my newsfeed, getting flooded with information (some of which was totally false).

The purpose of this article, unlike many out there, is to focus on what we really need to take away from this tragedy. Yes, it happened, and yes, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but there are much larger issues here that can help keep the EDM community strong and unbreakable as a family.

The bottom line of this event is that it’s a tragedy. With the ubiquitous nature of social media today, we have to remember to take everything we read (especially on social media) with a grain of salt. We have no idea, and may never know, the true details of the night; but instead of digging for details, or publicizing unconfirmed information, we need to focus on what’s really at the core of this incident. We need to think about her, her family, friends, and loved ones, and pause for a moment before jumping to conclusions, placing blame, or making light of the situation in any way. We all have brothers, sisters, cousins, best friends, and coworkers who we can’t imagine losing. So take a step back and sympathize with her family – because, whether you initially realized it or not, she is a part of a much larger family – the EDM community.

And with that sentiment, we must all remember just that – the EDM community is your family. If you’re feeling alone, nervous, angry, distressed, sick, or depressed, there is always a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, or a conversation to be had. I’ve written many articles about raving solo and the connectivity between ravers at festivals, all of which I’ve personally experienced. Especially in times of tragedy, we need to band together and stay strong for those of us who may be struggling with certain aspects of their life. You really never know when you could be saving someone’s life by just offering unbiased, genuine support.

We must also remember that, with the certain preconceived notions and stereotypes surrounding the EDM scene, that we will be in the spotlight now more than ever. As with any festival tragedy, media likes to generalize and place blame on the community as a whole. They jump to conclusions about drugs, alcohol, or reckless behavior in general, just because they’re aware of the unfortunate stigma surrounding the EDM community. Keeping this in mind, it is, again, up to us to show the other side of dance msic – the caring, supportive, life-changing side. The side that makes us smile, dance, love, and live with more of a purpose than most of us have before. While we shouldn’t set out with a goal of changing people’s minds and opinions, we can do what we do best – embody positivity and happiness – which will send across a very powerful message.

I also feel the need to stress what is truly important in life. I know it may be tough for people living paycheck to paycheck, but put any money-related/refund issues aside. Instead of focusing on the “likes” you might get by trolling Facebook and making a joke about the situation, send your loved ones a text reminding them of how much you care about them. There will be another festival, another paycheck, another vacation, and another drop. But you unfortunately never know when a laugh with your friend may be the last. I don’t mean to sound morbid here, but it’s the truth. We’re letting “likes” and “followers” replace real compliments and conversations with real friends.

Especially with the holidays right around the corner, please remember the simplest forms of happiness in life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.

Written by
Cecelie Pikus

Cecelie became hooked on EDM back in 2012. Hailing from Northern New Jersey, Cecelie currently resides in upstate New York and serves as the in-game host and promotional coordinator for a professional hockey team. Graduating from Hamilton College in May of 2013 with a major in Creative Writing, she enjoys traveling the world, photography, spending time at the beach, watching the Yankees, Giants and Devils, and, of course, going to shows and festivals across the east coast. She likes all kinds of genres of music ranging from big room to hard style, but deep down loves trap and closely follows artists such as Yellow Claw, GTA, Diplo, Carnage, and DJ Snake.

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