Popular “Mad Decent Block Party” Promotes Illegal Drug Use
It brings major recording artists to town, attracts thousands of young people, and gets the attention of Rolling Stone and more. But it’s also a haven for drugs and a hotbed for injury and overdose. And it’s coming to Fort Lauderdale this summer.
The Mad Decent Block Party travels to dozens of cities throughout North America each summer, touting an impressive lineup of big-name DJs and rappers, and promising ample frivolity and fun. The Huffington Post calls it a riled-up “traveling circus.”
But there’s more to Mad Decent Block Party than good tunes and good times. The event’s earned a reputation for violence, injuries, illness, and bad behavior — almost all of it tied into illegal drugs. And the event’s organizers seem to embrace it with open arms.
Sketchy History of Mad Decent Block Party
Two people died at the Mad Decent Block Party in Baltimore last year. 20 more were hospitalized, some of them in critical condition. Officials said that drug overdose or side effects were responsible for most, if not all, of the emergencies.
Additionally, at the same event, three more were arrested for assaulting a police officer, domestic violence, and marijuana possession with intent to distribute. 50 citations were issued for underage drinking.
While other Mad Decent parties haven’t seen the same rate of arrests or deaths, many editorials and reviews from concertgoers at other events throughout the country insist that drug use runs rampant there, whether organizers know it or not.
Are Concert Organizers Promoting Illegal Drug Use?
Mad Decent Block Party is presented by Mad Decent, a record label spearheaded by popular EDM DJ Diplo, who performs at many of the events. Other big names in this year’s lineup include T-Pain and Skrillex, though none of those are expected to appear when Mad Decent rolls into Fort Lauderdale on August 1, 2015.
Event organizers, clearly aware of the drug problem, have sent mixed signals about their willingness to crack down on the event’s life-threatening culture. In the Baltimore aftermath, the festival officially banned kandi, a kind of plastic jewelry that young fans would wear to the show. Sometimes it really is just jewelry, but as concertgoers know all too well, kandi often harbors drugs inside.
And to their credit, Mad Decent’s official Block Party website specifically prohibits drugs and provides strict rules about when and how prescription medication will be allowed inside.
But looking elsewhere on that site, one quickly finds a slew of official merchandise that appears to promote drug use. A line of “Trippy” apparel depicts imagery commonly associated with the drug culture, for instance. There’s also the “Bong Olympics” t-shirt and an air freshener decorated with pictures of what might be understood as marijuana leafs.
Critics of the event say that, even setting aside the merchandise, the party perpetuates a culture that glorifies drug use, and that part of the allure is the audience’s altered state of mind.
Parents Should Exercise Caution Before Consenting
Mad Decent Block Party is primarily a youth-driven event, meaning parents need to be on their guard when children ask for permission to attend. While not everyone who goes will use drugs, and the majority of the event’s participants make it home safely, the documented history of drug use at Mad Decent Block Party is enough to raise eyebrows.
We are deeply concerned about the threat that reckless music festivals might pose to the safety of our youth.
Let’s all do our part to make sure our kids stay safe. Let your friends and fellow parents know about the upcoming event.
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