Vigilance

Updated: Feb 6

Written and Published by X


Trigger Warning. This article will mention stories about drugs, death and vomit.


I want to start off by saying that I am fully aware that the incidents and deaths that happened at the Astro World Festival these past few days are not clear but are said to be caused by a crowd collapse and overdoses from fentanyl laced drugs. First let’s talk about the crowd collapse. These are often referred to as stampedes but are even more intense. No one in the crowd was to blame, whether they were in the epicenter or nearby, had no choice but to be exactly where they were. This is what happens when shockwaves in crowds happen. To be completely honest with all of you, I don’t have any say on who to blame. I really have no idea what the event was like and how it was ran or who exactly it was ran by, and I don’t want to cause any arguments because that’s not what I’m writing this for. As for the laced drugs, it could happen to anyone. I’ve heard different stories about people injecting others without them knowing and obviously laced drugs being passed around. All this being said, I could be completely misinformed due to the media and what’s circulating. So due to the nature of misinformation, this article isn’t to convey any bias on anything that went on. I’m simply writing this because of its relevancy to unsafe situations that happen in our community.


My main message to everyone is to please be careful at concerts and festivals, and to those running these events, do your best to keep everyone safe. To all of those in the crowd who try to help save lives and to all of the medics, you are heroes. You have done great work and I will continue to always praise those who help out others. These concerts and festivals can be so dangerous, and I think it’s time to talk about it.


My first concern is of course, the crowd. Out of my four years of going to these events, I’ve only been up front a few times. There’s a reason why. When people are so closely pressed against each other, shockwaves can occur. When this happens, the crowd will then act like fluid, and you can become trapped. It may not sound dangerous, but these past few days prove otherwise. It doesn’t matter how big you are, or how strong, you can get injured or even die. Please, don’t sneak into events. This situation partly happened because of excess crowding. The venue was not meant to hold that many people. Watch the crowd, read its movements.


My second concern is dehydration. I was never great at keeping hydrated in general and I still have trouble with it, but I know now that it can be a serious issue. Drinking alcohol is common at shows and festivals, and it’s good caution to know that it’s a diuretic. Alcohol can be just as if not worse than many drugs out there and it will dehydrate you. Regardless if you are drinking, on something or completely sober, your body is not as vigorous as you think it is, no matter who you are. We all have our limits and you don’t want to test yours. Bring a hydration pack, spend your money on water, and help others out. Water is so important.


Lastly, the third concern I have, is of course, you guessed it, drugs. I know drugs aren’t just a thing that you see in festivals, but you can’t deny the drug culture. If you’ve been, you know. An ambulance is not a rare occurrence when you walk outside a venue or festival. I won’t go into detail with the story I’m about to tell but let me tell you about the last festival I went to. Electric Zoo, New York. I had gone to the medical tent due to dehydration and anxiety. (A lot had happened including my boyfriends phone getting stolen) They were completely running out of water and I just thought I could grab a water bottle really quick and just take a break from being around so many people. I was overwhelmed because I had not been around that many people since Covid started. Even with everyone there being vaccinated or tested, it's still so intense being around so many people when you hadn't been in so long. While I was waiting, I saw many people passed out with tin foil blankets on top of them and some of them were vomiting as well. I swear I thought I heard and saw flies buzzing around. All of them looked like they were either having the worst trip of their lives or overdosing and dying from rolling. Everyone around me except for my boyfriend and the medics looked lifeless. Like their souls had just left their bodies. One of them had to be restrained because of how angry and violent he was getting. He was definitely tripping, hard. This was the most disturbing and intense energy I had ever felt. There was the most wicked haze that was clouding over that particular area in New York, and I’ll forever be traumatized by it. Thankfully no one died, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than a few overdoses.


I’m not going to sit here and type out, “please don’t do drugs” because we forget that many people cannot just “stop doing drugs” right off the bat. We need to have more compassion towards one another and try to be understanding of why people do drugs in the first place. Mental health, addiction (whether it’s from birth trauma, being over prescribed or just trying them in the first place), and other things factor in. There are also times where people don’t do drugs but they get drugged. That being said, if you do have control over the situation, I’m begging you to test your drugs. Be careful with your dosing. Stop mixing things. And stop taking things from strangers. Fentanyl is going around like crazy so please be careful because tomorrow is never promised. If you don’t have control of the situation and you’re starting to feel out of it, tell someone as quickly as you can, and drink water. Take note of the time and seek care if you can.


Overall, some situations are uncontrollable, but do your absolute best to watch for certain signs if you can. You are all so loved by me, this community, and your loved ones. Your life is precious. I've had loved ones die from addiction so this is such a sensitive but extremely important topic for me. If you or anyone else you know is struggling with addiction, trauma, or just mental health in general please click the links down below. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. RIP to the angels at the Astro World Festival. RIP to everyone who has died from these unfortunate occurrences. You didn’t deserve to die the way you did, but I’d like to think they’re all at peace now. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends. -X


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

PTSD hotline: 866-903-3787

AA (alcoholics anonymous): https://aa.org/

NA (narcotics anonymous): https://na.org/

If emergency, PLEASE call 911.


DONATION LINKS HERE: https://dreamcenterforrecovery.com/addiction-non-profits-charities/