The Electric Zoo festival has released an anti-drug PSA hilariously titled “The Molly,” as part of their “Come To Life” campaign ahead of the Randal’s Island festivities this year. Attendees will be forced to watch the two minute video, written and directed by Dexter creator James Manos, Jr., in order to activate their wristbands and enter the festival.
Anti-drug PSAs are notoriously hokey and exaggerated, fodder for the amusement of cool kids already on drugs. “The Molly,” however, does elicit a genuine sense of anxiety, but that’s largely due to the thought of having to hang out with this EDM Bro during his over-the-top drug breakdown. The clip uses ker-azy camera effects to imitate a bad drug experience, which, when juxtaposed with EDM Bro’s nonsensical, echoing words, gives the impression of a bad art film or pretty good Animal Collective video. As the ad winds down, EDM Bro stares into a tunnel of white light and the crowd fades away, the words “DON’T MISS THE MOMENT” flash across the screen.
Though the implication of the last shot is ominous (don’t go towards the light! Skrillex is about to go on!) this slogan points to the possibility that you may fuck up your good time by taking shitty drugs, instead that of certain death or irreversible brain damage. “Our message to concertgoers is simple: The Electric Zoo experience is exceptional and worth being present for,” Electric Zoo’s founders said in a statement. As far as anti-drug PSAs go, that’s pretty progressive. Or perhaps it’s just good marketing.
Electric Zoo has reason to be worried about public perception of their festivals after two attendees died at last year’s event from drug related causes. A 23-year-old in Buffalo, NY was recently arrested for allegedly selling the drugs that led to these deaths. However, the fact remains that “molly” is a far less dangerous drug than the public fears. In the UK, where the drug has been a more widespread problem, a study found that the drug was responsible for 27 deaths in 2011. In comparison, there were 40,000 deaths attributed to alcohol use in the same year. Still, it’s a drug that’s been engineered to be shitty and you probably won’t be able to tell on the spot what other shit they put in there.