Mass-Gathering Medical Care in Electronic Dance Music Festivals

Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017 Oct;32(5):563-567. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X1700663X. Epub 2017 Jun 19.


Introduction Electronic dance music (EDM) festivals represent a unique subset of mass-gathering events with limited guidance through literature or legislation to guide mass-gathering medical care at these events. Hypothesis/Problem Electronic dance music festivals pose unique challenges with increased patient encounters and heightened patient acuity under-estimated by current validated casualty predication models.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of three separate EDM festivals with analysis of patient encounters and patient transport rates. Data obtained were inserted into the predictive Arbon and Hartman models to determine estimated patient presentation rate and patient transport rates.

Results: The Arbon model under-predicted the number of patient encounters and the number of patient transports for all three festivals, while the Hartman model under-predicted the number of patient encounters at one festival and over-predicted the number of encounters at the other two festivals. The Hartman model over-predicted patient transport rates for two of the three festivals.

Conclusion: Electronic dance music festivals often involve distinct challenges and current predictive models are inaccurate for planning these events. The formation of a cohesive incident action plan will assist in addressing these challenges and lead to the collection of more uniform data metrics. FitzGibbon KM , Nable JV , Ayd B , Lawner BJ , Comer AC , Lichenstein R , Levy MJ , Seaman KG , Bussey I . Mass-gathering medical care in electronic dance music festivals. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(5):563-567.

Keywords: BCFD Baltimore City Fire Department; DFRS Department of Fire and Rescue Services; EDM electronic dance music; EMS Emergency Medical Services; EPTS Electronic Patient Tracking System; MDMA 3; MIEMSS Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical System Services; eMEDS Electronic Maryland EMS Data System; prehospital; 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; electric dance music festival; emergency care; mass-gathering medical care.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Crowding*
  • Dancing*
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Patient Transfer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy