Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Mass-Gathering Medical Care in Electronic Dance Music Festivals

  • Kathleen M. FitzGibbon (a1), Jose V. Nable (a2), Benjamin Ayd (a3), Benjamin J. Lawner (a4), Angela C. Comer (a5), Richard Lichenstein (a6), Matthew J. Levy (a7), Kevin G. Seaman (a8) and Ian Bussey (a9)...
Abstract 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.


Electronic dance music festivals pose unique challenges with increased patient encounters and heightened patient acuity under-estimated by current validated casualty predication models.


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.


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.


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):563567.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Kathleen M. FitzGibbon, MD Department of Emergency Medicine Christiana Care Health Services 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, PO Box 6001 Newark, Delaware 19718 USA E-mail:
Hide All

Conflicts of interest: none

Hide All
2. E Brown , D Jarvic , D Simpson . Use of drugs at “raves.” Scott Med J. 1995;40(6):168-171.

4. JC Maxwell . Party drugs: properties, prevalence, patterns, and problems. Subst Use Misuse. 2005;40(9-10):1203-1240.

5. GS Yacoubian , C Boyle , C a Harding , E a Loftus . It’s a rave new world: estimating the prevalence and perceived harm of ecstasy and other drug use among club rave attendees. J Drug Educ. 2003;33(2):187-196.

6. S Lenton , A Boys , K Norcross . Raves, drugs, and experience: drug use by a sample of people who attend raves in Western Australia. Addiction. 1997;92(10):1327-1337.

7. M Bahora , CE Sterk , KW Elifson . Understanding recreational ecstasy use in the United States: a qualitative inquiry. Int J Drug Policy. 2009;20:62-69.

9. RH Schwartz , NS Miller . MDMA (ecstasy) and the rave: a review. Pediatrics. 2015;100(4):705-708.

12. JA Henry . Ecstasy and the dance of death Severe reactions are unpredictable. BMJ. 1992;305:6.

14. CM White . How MDMA’s pharmacology and pharmacokinetics drive desired effects and harms. J Clin Pharmacol. 2014;54(3):245-252.

17. R De Lorenzo . Mass gathering medicine: a review. Prehosp Disaster Med. 1997;12(1):68-72.

20. MB Munn , A Lund , R Golby , SA Turris . Observed benefits to on-site medical services during an annual 5-day electronic dance music event with harm reduction services. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(02):228-234.

22. S Locoh-Donou , Y Guofen , M Welcher , T Berry , RE O’Connor , WJ Brady . Mass-gathering medicine: a descriptive analysis of a range of mass-gathering event types. Am J Emerg Med. 2013;31(5):843-846.

23. A Lund , SA Turris . Mass-gathering medicine: risks and patient presentations at a 2-Day electronic dance music event. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(3):271-278.

25. N Hartman , A Williamson , B Sojka , et al. Predicting resource use at mass gatherings using a simplified stratification scoring model. Am J Emerg Med. 2009;27(3):337-343.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 47 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 342 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th June 2017 - 16th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.