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.