HARD Summer Death Was Not Drug Related, Calm Down

Los Angeles coroner's office confirms Jonathan Reyes died of natural causes

HARD Summer Death Festival Ecstasy Natural Causes EDM Rave
Flying Lotus witnessed the man's death at HARD Summer Photo by Erik Voake for SPIN
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

In early August, SPIN attended Los Angeles' HARD Summer festival, and witnessed a horrifying scene firsthand: on-site paramedics attempting, to no avail, to resuscitate a young man who'd collapsed at the foot of a small hillside. Flying Lotus began his scheduled set shortly after the incident, and commented on it from the stage. He also tweeted, "Damn. I saw a guy die before my set. Heavy." 

As is the wont of those who treat EDM like a four-letter word, many assumed that the death was caused by ecstasy use. But according to LA Weekly, toxicology reports on the deceased Jonathan Reyes, 21, have been completed and authorities have determined that he died of natural causes. There were no drugs in his body. Repeat: he was clean. On behalf of the coroner's office, Lt. Fred Corral confirmed that Reyes suffered a heart attack due to a preexisting condition.

Apaprently, Reyes was afflicted with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause defects of the heart valves and aorta, not to mention the lungs, the eyes, the spine, and other areas. Those with the condition are often unusually tall and lanky. For all intents and purposes, HARD is a legal rave, and raves have been unfairly maligned in the mainstream media (and around the dinner table) for quite some time.

Shortly after the HARD Summer incident, a Zedd show in Boston ended in a drug overdose and New York's Electric Zoo was plagued by ecstasy-related deaths

00:00 00:00 No Song Selected More info
00:00 00:00
Now Playing
  • 1 OOFJ — I Forgive You " 03:52
  • 2 MyMidnightHeart — D R O W N " 04:59
  • 3 In Tall Buildings — Bawl Cry Wail " 04:08
  • 4 Slutever — Smother " 01:55
  • 5 Lithuania — Pieces " 03:40
  • 6 Kuroma — Love Is on the Way " 03:29
  • 7 Big Sean — Blessings " 05:02

SPIN is a member of SPIN Music Group, a division of BUZZMEDIA