A 20-year-old man died after attending Halloween's circus-themed FreakNight dance party at WaMu Theater. Some media outlets listed the cause of death as a drug overdose, but results from the toxicology report have yet to be made public. The Seattle Times noted that 16 other attendees ended up at Harborview Medical Center, with six showing "serious symptoms consistent with drug overdose." Officials from CenturyLink Field, which runs WaMu, canceled the second night of the event after learning of the casualty Saturday evening. FreakNight's organizers, United State of Consciousness, aka USC Events, expected more than 40,000 attendees for both dates. The organization issued refunds to those who purchased tickets to Saturday's show.

USC Events is an active, long-running presence in Seattle's electronic-music scene, specializing in booking high-priced EDM DJs in large venues. Spokesman Alex Fryer told the Timesthat USC stationed 326 security personnel to deal with 22,000 ravers. In addition, the Seattle Fire Department contributed 18 medics, and 32 "Conscious Crew" volunteers milled through the crowd with water while looking for any patrons experiencing health problems. USC also presented free water stations. Partiers had to go through a thorough inspection at the venue's entrance. On FreakNight's website, USC explicitly states in all caps "ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DRUG USE OR POSSESSION."

Nevertheless, for years drugs have been a reality at large EDM events, which mostly attract young people, and the current national policy toward illicit substances contributes to an environment where unscrupulous dealers can get away with distributing dangerous product to often gullible or reckless consumers. It may be a stretch in the current political and legal climate, but EDM promoters may want to consider offering drug-testing stations on site to try to curtail potential health hazards and deaths.


Seattle hard-rock mainstays Kinski will be issuing two new releases in the first half of 2015. The first is a split EP with Sandrider on local indie Good to Die Records, which will come out February 17, and the second's a full-length due out in mid-April via Olympia-based Kill Rock Stars. These are Kinski's first new offerings since 2013's solid rock beast, Cosy Moments. The band recorded the album and EP in San Francisco's El Studio with producer Phil Manley (Trans Am, Fucking Champs). Kinski guitarist/vocalist Chris Martin said, "The new record is rawer than anything we've done in the past. It captures more of our live sound. The full-length has six rocking numbers and one 12-minute piece that is our stab at a Miles Davis fusion thing mixed with a little My Bloody Valentine. [I think it's] one of the best things we've ever done. The EP [consists of] two long rock tracks and features a song called 'Beyond in Touch with My Feminine Side.'" recommended