More than three dozen individuals were arrested on various drug related charges at the Hudson Project festival in Saugerties, New York this past weekend. The Daily Freeman posted a list of 42 names charged with possession of varying amounts of various drugs, most being male non-residents in their twenties. While there are more serious offenses that include “criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, drunken driving and aggravated drunken driving” and a couple counts of resisting arrest, the overwhelming majority of charges are listed as possession of a controlled substance (which one would imagine police would be eager to list as a hallucinogen or hard drug if they could), and countless charges of possession of marijuana.
We can’t recall a festival in recent history with this many arrests, and this reads like a weekend filled with undercover narcotics officers. As reckless drug intake and overdoses have become synonymous with mainstream dance music, enforcement is the next logical step, but the charges listed sound like narcotics officers swooping in on kids smoking weed and running pockets looking for harder drugs. We certainly paid attention when we learned that the TSA have jurisdiction at music festivals, and this wave of arrests certainly sends a message.
Hudson Project was evacuated due to dangerous thunderstorms in the middle of the afternoon yesterday, and while EDM Sauce reported that the arrests were a direct result of the early evacuation, more than 80 percent of these reported incidents actually happened on Saturday, not on Sunday when officers were gearing up to ensure that partygoers were exiting safely. That said, we can’t imagine how many more partygoers would have been detained if yesterday was blessed with clear skies. We also always suggest that you party responsibly, but if you’re partial to the herbs, you probably shouldn’t smoke spliffs in the open at dance shows anymore.
EDIT We’re getting word from the ground of what was happening at The Hudson Project, and it looks like a lot of these arrests were happening as people were trying to enter the festival:
“the officers were state troopers and most of the arrests were happening at the gates. they had two security points, one at the main entrance to the whole thing and then another from that area into the music zone. they actually had a judge on site, so what they were doing. was arresting people for minor possession charges, taking them to the judge, having their little case heard and paying the fine and then they were released“