The tomato is staying acoustic. Long Island’s upcoming Electric Tomato Festival has been canceled in the wake of two drug-related deaths at last month’s Electric Zoo showcase. As Newsday reports, Nassau Coliseum pulled the plug on the October 6 event, planned as a massive tomato-throwing food fight soundtracked by EDM.
Erin Chase, the Coliseum’s booking and marketing manager, said the New York arena was not aware that EDM would be involved in the festival when it was originally booked and got “a little concerned” after two people died at Electric Zoo on New York City’s Randall’s Island in late August.
Per the Electric Tomato Festival’s Facebook: “Unfortunately, due to recent developments at Electric Zoo, Nassau Coliseum has issues with the EDM part of this event and has decided to cancel the Electric Tomato Festival in New York. All tickets bought will be refunded in full. Further details will be released in the coming days. Thanks to everyone who has supported this event.”
A written statement obtained by Newsday also cited low ticket sales as part of the reason for the cancellation, because apparently not enough people want to be pelted with tomatoes while waiting for the drop. Inspiration for the ETF reportedly came from a similar, non-EDM-centric event held in Spain. The concert-slash-mess’ headliners would’ve been DJs Sluggo and Downlink, who were supposed to enjoy support from a host of local talent. Anyone who participated in the tomato fight would’ve had to sign a waiver clarifying that they were responsible for their own safety, but that caveat was not enough to keep the Coliseum onboard: Chase said that if the venue were to reschedule the Tomato Festival for a later date, it would not feature any EDM.
Even aside from the Electric Zoo tragedy (which resulted in that festival’s final day being canceled) and the recent drug overdose death at Zedd’s tour kickoff, Nassau Coliseum has its own unfortunate history with EDM. Last year, the arena was forced to shut down its Halloween-themed “Haunted Coliseum” dance party after police responded to numerous reports of unruly and dangerously intoxicated attendees, many of whom were supposedly minors. Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso topped that bill, but never took the stage — authorities called for the Haunted Coliseum’s evacuation a little more than an hour after it had begun.
Still, the dance-music industry has had to fight for its right for years now, and municipal fears of EDM still tend to get blown out of proportion. Ravers, aim your tomatoes.