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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Concerts are not just another place to get wasted

19-year-old+Brittany+Nicole+Flannigan%2C+of+Derry%2C+N.H.%2C+died+from+an+overdose+while+at+a%26%23160%3Bconcert+at%26%23160%3BHouse+of+Blues+on+Sept.+27.%26%23160%3B

19-year-old Brittany Nicole Flannigan, of Derry, N.H., died from an overdose while at a concert at House of Blues on Sept. 27. 

On Thursday night, the second show of a two-night run by Zedd at the House of Blues was cancelled because of safety concerns. During the show’s first night, three fans overdosed on the hard drug MDMA, commonly referred to as “Molly.” 19-year-old Brittany Flannigan, a Plymouth State sophomore, died.
This is not the first time that someone has died at a concert in the New England area due to consumption of recreational drugs or alcohol. In 2011, a Syracuse, N.Y., man died at the Comcast Center after attending the Identity Festival.
In 2008, two young women died after getting into a car crash on their way home from Gillette Stadium’s Countryfest. Tests showed that they were legally drunk at the time of the accident.
I can see why this is happening from a few perspectives. As a college student, I have noticed how my friends’ intentions have changed over the years as far as what they are excited about doing at a concert. Many times when one of my friends tells me they’re going to a concert, I say, “Oh, you must be looking forward to that,” and they reply with “Yeah, I’m gonna get fucked up big time.”
That might sound normal the first time you read it. I know I used to think it was. Then I really thought about what that statement entailed.
What do you think gives you the right to use a concert as your own personal opportunity to get “fucked up?” Do you think everyone else goes there with that goal? What if they want to hear their favorite artist? What if they want to show their kids a good time? I think that in the era of reality TV and Twitter, people — especially college-aged people — have become more selfish and have less regard for those around them, and are also more susceptible to peer pressure.
I’m sure that not everyone intends to go to these shows and drink too much or do drugs, but if their friends are doing it, then that’s part of the draw. Think about it, how many times has someone asked you if you wanted to go to a concert and said something like “It’s a great time. Everyone gets wasted?” I bet you’ve heard something just like that before.
I sell beer at Countryfest every year, and every year I get treated to the pleasure of seeing people walk in the gate barely able to stand up. The drinking is the main draw for the show. In fact, many people at the show, which Kenny Chesney headlines, can’t even name three songs by him (I’ve asked).
This show becomes more popular every year as word spreads that it’s a great chance to get very drunk and not be judged. The Foxborough Police Department and Gillette Stadium security staff have their hands full every year with hundreds in protective custody for public intoxication, DUI, and underage drinking, and it poses a real public safety threat to the community.
As young men and women, we need to decide what matters to us: getting f*cked up or having fun responsibly? I’m not saying no one should have a beer or smoke a joint at a show, but if you need some hardcore drugs or a ton of booze, maybe you should just go see a band you actually like and will want to remember the next day.
This needs to stop. No more innocent people should be dying because the social norm is to abuse substances at shows.
Let’s all just try to commit to having fun in a way that doesn’t make officials talk about closing down great venues or make artists cancel shows. I don’t think every Zedd fan in Boston should have to suffer because some college kids wanted to get wasted.