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Man Dies of Apparent Overdose at HARD Summer EDM Festival

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Empire of the Sun Performs at Hard Summer 2013 (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)

A man died at the HARD Summer dance music festival Saturday at downtown L.A.’s State Historic Park, and the apparent cause was a drug overdose.

County Coroner spokesman Ed Winter told LAist that Jonathan M. Reyes, 21, of Los Angeles, was pronounced dead at 10:57 PM at LAC+USC Medical Center. An autopsy is pending.

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Reyes' death is sure to reignite debate about whether EDM festivals can be held safely as long as festival-goers take care of themselves, or if raves are just magnets for drug use that don’t belong at government-owned venues like the State Historic Park. HARD's website is currently advertising a festival at the same state park Nov. 2-3 called Day of the Dead.

LA Weekly reported that paramedics found the man unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse when they got to him around 10:30 pm. They performed CPR before taking the man away on a cart and loading him into an ambulance, according to SPIN, who were on the scene.

Paramedics arrived just before star L.A. act Flying Lotus took the stage, and later that night the DJ/producer tweeted, “Damn. I saw a guy die before I played my set. Heavy.”

HARD promoter Live Nation issued the following statement:
During Saturday evening's event held at Los Angeles State Historic Park, a patron experienced cardiac distress and sadly passed away at the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Our guests' safety and well being is of paramount importance at every Live Nation event. We have skilled EMT's, police, and security staff deployed on site to respond to any emergency situation and last night members of this emergency team were with this patron and administering CPR within two minutes of notification. We work closely with local health and safety authorities to plan for emergencies and set the appropriate staffing levels for each event.

Rival EDM promoter Insomniac Events moved their Electric Daisy Carnival festival to Las Vegas after a 15-year-old girl
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overdosed at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2010.Emma Gallegos contributed to this post.