OPINION: Suddenly a city, loud and thirsty
|By Tracy Warner, The Wenatchee World, Wash.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Paradiso is an EDM festival. It is, say its organizers, the largest EDM festival in the Northwest. To prove my sorry state, I had to search around to find out what EDM means, and found it is an acronym for "electronic dance music," which is comprised of pulsating, percussive digital sounds and rhythms of varying texture, which entice adherents to hop up and down for hours or days on end. There are tens of thousands of people willing to spend hundreds of dollars each to participate. I glanced at the website and must say, I was impressed. The festival features performances from nearly 60 groups, and not one have I heard of before.
I know. This doesn't prove a thing about the worth of Paradiso, it only demonstrates my ignorance. I am thoroughly unqualified to comment on Paradiso's cultural or artistic worth and will not critique it or wish it to go away, like an overdose of
This success, though, raises concerns, as it would any time you concentrate 25,000 people in temporary quarters. With that many people, there will be concerns for public safety, health and sanitation whatever the event, be it an EDM festival or life insurance sales convention. Any city of that size would have a sizable police force, a fully staffed fire department, ambulance and emergency medical care, and a public works department to supply potable water and remove waste. When you have an event like Paradiso, which by intent involves physical exertion for hours in temperatures possibly above 90 degrees and humidity lower than most attendees have experienced, and that some or many will seek to chemically enhance their trance-like state, potential problems multiply. And that may be why officials of
That is a serious warning. Then there is the genuine trouble for the
Meanwhile, The Gorge and Paradiso organizers vow to have expanded 24-hour medical care with multiple locations on site, 12 water stations, shade tents, roaming "safety officers," and a "Conscious Crew" "taking care of others." Law enforcement will patrol concert and campground. Ambulance crews will be on standby.
Not much else to say, but welcome EDM fans, or whatever you're called. Enjoy, be safe, and drink before you're thirsty. Water is best.
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