The identities of the two people who died of drug overdoses at this weekend's Electric Zoo music festival in New York City have been released. The deaths of Olivia Rotondo, 20, and Jeffrey Russ, 23, prompted festival organizers to cancel the final day of the event. According to The New York Post, Rotondo told an EMS worker, "“I just took six hits of Molly,’’ a potent form of MDMA before having a seizure and dying.
The deaths were not the only tragedy that occurred at the festival. Four others were hospitalized for overdoses, though they are expected to recover, more than 30 people were arrested — many on drug-related charges, and a teenager was sexually assaulted.
According to The New York Times, lax security contributed to the dangerous activity:
All concertgoers were required to pass five checkpoints and submit to a pat-down and a bag search before arriving. But some attendees said they had been asked only to open their bags or were not checked at all.
Though the deaths of Rotondo and Russ are both believed to stem from MDMA, the two are otherwise unrelated. Word of bad product circulated throughout the festival over the weekend, however, and law enforcement said that Russ was also in possession of crystal meth at the time of his death, according to the New York Daily News:
In his final hours, he tweeted a photo from the festival and expressed admiration for Avicii, one of the deejays who performed. "Avicii saved my life," he tweeted without explanation.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.