This past Thursday, Mat Zo let loose a lengthy Twitter rant regarding Electric Zoo‘s decision to ban CamelBaks. His tweets ranged from sarcastic and angry to confused and concerned, going so far as to call organizers “disgusting”. Later that afternoon, he returned to Twitter to inform fans that he’d be speaking with the Electric Zoo team in order to understand their decision. Rather than argue with them, as his earlier tweets might suggest, he intended to “reasoned discussion”.
Today, Zo posted a message via TwitLonger, summarizing his conversation and reiterating the reasoning behind the festival’s decision. Though Zo has confidence that the majority of attendees use their CamelBaks for legitimate purposes, he expresses that he understands how the bags can be a security concern. Ultimately, he believes that when it comes to ensuring festival safety, he and Electric Zoo are “on the same page”. Furthermore, he encourages festival-goers to educate themselves on the risks of drug use and how to be proactive. Read the entire statement below or right here.
“Following my concerns with Electric Zoo’s ban on Camelbacks, I’ve had a conversation with the people who run the festival to find out some of the facts behind the ban. While I believe the vast majority of people use Camelbacks for purely legal and safe purposes, it has been explained to me that there is a security risk due to the unique nature of the Camelback’s design, with its sealed compartments and difficulty to search – it is for this reason that they have been banned. Many other festivals across the world have banned Camelbacks.
My comments were motivated by concerns that water needs to be as free and available as possible, and Electric Zoo is committed to delivering that. They have always given out free water in the past and will have multiple free water stations this year, as well as giving out electrolytes to replenish dehydration. They also allow people to bring in their own empty clear plastic water bottles and fill them for free, and have free cups available at all of the water stations.
After our dialogue, I felt that Electric Zoo and I were on the same page on the level of commitment to festival goer’s safety and comfort, and I have no doubt that they are doing everything in their power to make things as safe as possible. I think that education is by far the most important method of preventing deaths, and more should be done to inform people on the risks of drug use. Here is a website with information on drugs and information that could possibly save lives.
Festivals have had a particularly hard time in the US from authorities who want to shut down festivals altogether. It’s not only the festival’s responsibility to maintain the safety of its festival goers, but it’s also the festival goer’s responsibility to make sure they’re having fun in a way that won’t harm themselves or the people around them.”