Chicago’s Spring Awakening Fest in a bind after preemptive location change announcement

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Chicago’s Spring Awakening Fest in a bind after preemptive location change announcementSpring Awakening 1

Spring Awakening Music Festival, the largest strictly electronic music festival in the Midwest, is set on returning to Chicago for its eighth year this June–but with the festival’s home base for the past few years (after leaving its original Soldier Field housing), Addams/Medill Park, purportedly under construction, the fest has called an audible and has announced new digs at spacious Douglas Park.

However, it seems the Chicago-based event mega-brand, React Presents, jumped the gun big time announcing their relocation plans Monday, as the decision was apparently made without consulting the proper channels within the district. Now, the community and its officials are bristling at the sudden news.

To complicate matters further, Douglas Park has already played host to punk/alternative haven, Riot Fest this past September, and is hoping to celebrate its 15th anniversary by returning to the location next year. Riot’s organizers were praised by the community and its officials for working with the locals and community overseers prior to their move in order to assess environmental and community impact, highlighting the stark misfire on SAMF’s part. Although the situation may yet to have crossed over into irreparable territory, Chicago’s 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas issued some firm pushback in regards to Spring Awakening organizers’ actions, telling the Chicago Tribune:

There’s a lot of things to consider here, which makes me upset. There was a lot of work that was done to ensure that Riot Fest was successful and all of a sudden, we get this unexpected news release from folks who are coming in without going through any process. It’s completely wrong.

Cardenas attributes his concern with SAMF’s preemptive announcement to his not wanting to see the community, “taken for granted.” However, he conceded he would still be willing to meet with the festival organizers to rectify the situation should they chose to reach out for his approval.

via: Chicago Tribune

Photo Credit: Spring Awakening

Richard Branson promises brand new stateside music festival coming in 2019

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Richard Branson promises brand new stateside music festival coming in 2019Richard Branson Virgin Festival 2019 Stateside

When Sir Richard Branson announced the end of his UK-based V Festival last year, the Virgin Group founder ended a fest run that was more than two decades long. The festival’s creation in 1996 arrived in an entirely different landscape. Today, there’s a festival for every genre and atmosphere, and enough can’t-miss lineups to give fans year-long FOMO. In an effort to cut through the festival clutter, Branson and a select team will bring an entirely new concept stateside in 2019.

Virgin has been tight-lipped so far on specific details, but the event will reportedly take place over two days on the east coast. “Having a festival out in the middle of a field with dust and mud is something we’re steering away from,” said Virgin Produced CEO Jason Felts. “We’ll be announcing our first venue, which is world-class, with appropriate facilities versus just sort of putting up stages in the middle of a field.”

No matter how the details shake out, music fans should expect the unexpected from Branson and his team.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Fyre festival co-founder sentenced to six years in prison

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Fyre festival co-founder sentenced to six years in prisonFyre Festival Founder Sentenced Si Years Prison

Billy McFarland, the disgraced organizer of 2017’s now infamous Fyre music festival has been sentenced to six years in federal prison. Billed as as ultra-luxe festival experience featuring names like Disclosure and Major Lazer, the ill-fated endeavor was a legal and logistical nightmare of viral proportions. The fest left defrauded investors and outraged fest-goers both clamoring angrily for their money back, with hundreds stranded on an island with everything from tent fires to packs of wild dogs.

McFarland and rapper Ja Rule’s joint dumpster fire set off a string of lawsuits and unfathomably shady business practices that culminated with McFarland’s arrest on wire fraud charges in June of of 2017. The disgraced businessman settled with the SEC for a whopping 27.4 million as part of his plea deal, which included a reduced sentence. The legend of the most epic fest fail of all time has only grown since, spawning everything from a sold out NYC merch pop up to a Hulu docuseries. The legal saga may be over, but the infamous tale of Fyre fest is sure live on.

Photo Credit: Natan Dvir

Sunburn Music Festival targeted for possible terror attack

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Sunburn Music Festival targeted for possible terror attackSunburnragam

Sunburn Music Festival, Asia’s largest electronic music festival, was targeted by Hindu extremists according to government officials. The festival in Prune was targeted last year by a group of far-right extremists, allegedly in the Sanatan Sanstha Hindu group.

In the court case, alleged reasons for the targeting was that the festival was “against Hindu culture.” The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad made these claims against Sudhanva Godnhalekar and Vaibhav Raut, who were two out of the five men charged for terrorism. Police allege that the group was also involved in petrol bombing cinema halls for films deemed offensive. In the report, they also planned to attack particular journalists and authors.

Last year, the festival headlined major acts such as Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and DJ Snake. The behemoth event began in 2007, and was held in Goa until 2015, when the venue moved to Prune.

Sunburn plans to resume this December 2018.  The shutting down of the event has been discussed by local government for “maligning the state’s image” in 2017.

H/T: DJ Mag

Report: The most commonly used drugs at music festivals

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Over the years, drug and alcohol’s relationship with electronic dance music has heightened its foothold in worldwide festival culture. Music festivals themselves undeniably afford a collective culture of intoxication — a palpable permeation of substance use and abuse that one can sniff out regardless of whether they choose to partake or not. Considering substance abuse’s assimilation, one may find themselves wondering just how deeply drugs and alcohol are intertwined with the modern festival landscape. Is substance abuse worse than it seems, and how is the industry taking responsibility for its needed conversations about these substances and their abuse?

In an effort to gain a better understanding of the how the industry is working through its deeply embedded substance use and abuse, it’s helpful to first try and understand the roles different substances play at festivals. To do so, TickPick — an ever-growing ticketing marketplace — surveyed 1,000 attendees of well-known music festivals about their own intoxicating experiences. Their participants ranged in age from 18 to 74, with a mean of 32.4. In the end, their results revealed not only the common types of drugs at festivals and which events are associated with which substances, but a general synopsis as to what the landscape of American consumption looks like in 2018 and beyond.

Overall substance use at festivals

More than three-quarters of participants reported consuming alcohol while attending a festival, which is roughly double the percentage of participants who had consumed any other substance and almost more than twice the rate of those who consumed marijuana.

Though more than a third of respondents reported smoking marijuana at a festival, a smaller, yet still significant portion of people reported using harder drugs. Thirteen percent of respondents reported using MDMA in some form, with hallucinogens’ use clocking just below at roughly eight percent apiece.

Substances use per ticket type

There remains some debate about the optimal festival experience: dance it up with the raucous crowd, or keep things refined with VIP privileges? Whichever route one takes, TickPick’s data suggests a slightly boozier vibe outside the VIP area. Generally, it suggests that a larger portion of general admission attendees consume alcohol, which may come to a surprise to those in VIP, with the complimentary alcohol some of the VIP experiences entail.

On the other side of the spectrum, the data found that VIP attendees generally were more likely to do a range of drugs than those in general admission. Between marijuana, MDMA, cocaine, and hallucinogens, VIP pass-holders were substantially more willing to indulge than the average festival-goer. A possible explanation for this trend is financial limitations. As VIP experiences can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, one can imagine these individuals can succumb to the use of any substance at their disposal.

Greatest substance prevalence per festival

Though alcohol was the leading substance at all festivals, TickPick’s data brings about some interesting findings on other substances. One might expect Coachella would have the highest rate of marijuana-smoking in the cannabis-friendly state of California, but the data aligns quite well with the bans of the substance on the grounds, despite the state’s recent legalization of weed for recreational use. EDC and Ultra each had high rates of MDMA and cocaine consumption, and ultimately, Burning Man had some of the highest rates of overall drug use around. Perhaps this significant rate of consumption can be pinned on the festival’s “gift economy,” where food, supplies, and even drugs are shared openly as a means of “payment.”

Top festivals for each substance

Ultimately, the final data lends itself to some idea of each respective festival’s consumption demographic. SXSW, for instance, led in rates of alcohol consumption. While cocaine use was the highest amongst Ultra attendees, a finding that may result from a mix of EDM culture and the festival’s deep historical roots for the drug and a recent resurgence in Miami’s cocaine trafficking.

While geographical differences may explain some findings, it is a bit difficult to understand why Alabama’s Hangout Music Festival led others in DMT use, as just one example. EDC was another consumption leader across the different categories, also ranking in the top three for a number of substances. This point ties into the festival’s battle with health and safety concerns with drug use in the past, including more than 1,000 attendees needing medical treatment in 2017. Though there are issues and ambiguity within the self-reported data like TickPick used for this study— including,  but not limited to, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration — these results do shine a light on the landscape of American substance use, nonetheless. Here’s to hoping some of these findings diminish the blind eye to EDM’s drug abuse, increases awareness, and implements further safety precautions down the line.

Via: TickPick 
Featured Image: Courtesy of Goldenvoice

Destructo announces debut headliners for inaugural All My Friends Music Festival

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LA is getting a brand new two-day summer music festival, programmed by a man who’s intimately familiar with the live events landscape in Southern California — after all, he helped build it. Destructo‘s new dance and hip-hop event, All My Friends Music Festival, slated for August 18-19 at ROW DTLA, has now announced its first-run of artists, topped this year by RL Grime, Gucci Mane, and Jhené Aiko on the first day, followed by headlining performances from M.I.A.Jamie XX, and house legend Armand Van Helden on day two.

Each headliner brings their own distinct appeal to the bill, from an ultra-rare Armand outing to Gucci Mane’s booming catalog of iconic southern rap hallmarks. Going back to a tried and true festival playbook, Destructo’s first AMFMF is shaping up to look a lot like early editions of HARD Summer with underground dance and rap hybrid bookings rubbing shoulders, matched with a central downtown Los Angeles location as the festival’s backdrop. Some considerable refinements are bound to be announced as the inaugural event nears its debut, and with a stacked first talent phase now announced, expect the rest of the lineup to follow and similarly enticing pattern.

Sweden’s women-only music festival is a go for summer 2018

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Girls around the world unite: Sweden is officially set to host the world’s largest women-only music festival next summer.

After reaching its funding target of $61,000, the aptly-named Statement Festival and ‘man-free event’ is a go.

The festival itself was originally proposed by Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare in response to the unfortunate rise of rapes and sexual assaults that plagued the country’s biggest music festivals, Bråvalla and Putte I Parken respectively.

In 2016 alone, five rapes and 12 sexual assaults were reported at Bråvalla and have exceedingly got worse. In 2017, 23 sexual assaults and 4 rapes were reported to have taken place during the four-day festival. The Statement Festival will be taking the place of Bråvalla’s 2018 installment.

Statement Festival will be capped at 10,000 women and is hoping to be a sanctuary for cis, non-binary and trans women alike. Its intention is to create “a safe space for the people who want to attend a festival without feeling scared for their personal safety.”

H/T: Mixmag

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Parookaville 2017 (Weeze, Germany)

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Sunset Music Festival 2017 – Photos by Tessa Paisan

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