Mayor Defends Electric Zoo Founder After Deaths at Music Fest

By Colby Hamilton and Victoria Bekiempis  on September 3, 2013 3:22pm

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the orgainzer of the Electric Zoo music fest, where two people died from apparent drug-related causes.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the orgainzer of the Electric Zoo music fest, where two people died from apparent drug-related causes.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

RANDALL'S ISLAND — Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the Electric Zoo founder who formerly managed a Chelsea megaclub shuttered in the wake of deadly drug overdoses — saying the promoter has a "stellar record."

"There's something that he was involved with about a dozen years ago, but we've been working with this promoter, organizer, for the past five years and they have a stellar record," Bloomberg said of Mike Bindra, who founded the dance music fest where two attendees died of drug-related causes over the weekend

As DNAinfo New York first reported, Bindra formerly ran West 27th Street nightclub Twilo, which was closed by the city in 2001 amid accusations it played a role in two fatal overdoses and hid unconscious patrons in a secret room without medical care.  

Bloomberg told reporters Tuesday that Bindra followed best practices in organizing the Electric Zoo festival, which was held on city-owned parkland on Randall's Island.

"I can tell you that when we brought it to their attention, we didn't need to — they knew they had to put in as good procedures as we could think of and have been nothing but cooperative, and I have nothing but good things to say about them," the mayor said.

Twilo became a target of law enforcement officials during Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration after two clubgoers died from apparent Ecstasy overdoses over a two-year period.

The club, which shuttered in 2001 after long battling the city in court, was also accused of keeping sick patrons in a back room and taking them by private ambulance to hospitals — including one of the reported fatal overdose victims.

Bloomberg blamed the weekend's Electric Zoo overdoses on the festival-goers who used drugs. 

"The bottom line here is that you see people here who are doing drugs that shouldn't be doing drugs and you see the fatal consequences," Bloomberg said.

He added that the city would analyze security procedures to see whether more can be done to prevent drug-related deaths.

"The city will have to take a look at every concert to see if the concert can be run safely," he said.

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