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

Turn it up: Tiësto’s ‘I Like It Loud’ EP has arrived

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Tiesto

If the strength of an artist’s performance at Ultra Music Festival, the official opener to each festival season, predicts that of one’s year as Hardwell claims, then Tiësto is positioned to make nothing but power moves in 2018.

Tiësto’s no-holds-barred performance at Ultra 20 notably featured five new IDs, and the announcement that the festival favorite would drop an ensuing EP on the Friday following the conclusion of Ultra’s anniversary celebration. After the consecutive release of two singles that signaled the sonic leanings of the EP, “Dawnbreaker,” and “Coming Home,” I Like It Loud has arrived just in time to quell fans’ post-Ultra blues.

Although “Dawnbreaker” deviates from Tiësto’s recent gravitation towards the big room constructions characteristic of commercial festival sets in its more muted approach, one distinctly reminiscent of Tiësto’s trance beginnings, I Like It Loud is a product of palpable, main stage-oriented energy. The EP’s title anticipates the vigor of the production as a whole, one that is further supplemented by the two remaining tracks on the EP, the eponymous “I Like It Loud,” and “Break The House Down.” The first release since Tiësto’s fifth studio album in 2014, the songs that comprise I Like It Loud will render the EP a formidable force in the 2018 festival circuit.

Tiësto shines in new collaboration with Matisse & Sadko

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dawnbreaker-original-mix_large

Tiësto is set to release a new EP on March 31. Ahead of time, he gave fans a preview of what to expect with “Dawnbreaker” — a collaboration between the electronic music legend and Matisse & Sadko, and it is out now on his label Musical Freedom.

This track is among the five new songs that Tiësto debuted during his set at Ultra Music Festival, and it is a divergence from the commercial and big room house the producer has been putting out as of late. The track is almost reminiscent of his trance roots, with high-pitched chords and an upbeat vibe. Tiësto fans of all varieties will certainly welcome this new EP if “Dawnbreaker” is indicative of the EP’s style as a whole.

 

Soundtrack to Ultra 20

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Ultra-2018-mainstage-aLIVE-Coverage

Ultra celebrated a monumental twentieth anniversary this past weekend. Organizers wrapped UMF’s birthday with several landmark wins — its acquisition of Winter Music Conference, a Swedish House Mafia reunion, and a long-fought promise to return to their beloved venue at Miami’s Bayfront Park.

Along with the weekend came a bevy of top industry taste maskers spotlighting the upcoming year’s most popular dance floor anthems in their sets.  Over the weekend, 1001tracklists.com compiled a list of the Top Ten most-played tracks at Ultra Music Festival. From singles one might expected to see from names like DrakeSkrillex, and GTA, a deeper listen into the list reveals some tracks that will surely surprise and delight.

In years past, the tracks dominating Ultra’s main stage were seen as a way to forecast which generic trends might be dominating the festival season cycle. The sheer diversity in this year’s compiled list displays a wider range of genre crossing, however, which speaks to dance music’s diversification of tastes and sounds.

Here are the top ten tracks most played tracks at Ultra 2018.


1. Drake – God’s Plan [OVO]


2. Gammer – The Drop [Monstercat]


3. 4B &TEEZ – Whistle [Premiere Class]


4. 4B & Aazar – Pop Dat [FREE]


5. Valentino Kahn – Lick It [Spinnin’]


6. GTA ft. DJ Funk – Booty Bounce (GTA Hyprr Mix) [Free/Mad Decent]


7. DJ Snake – Magenta Riddim [Geffen/Universal]


8. David Guetta, Martin Garrix, & Brooks – Like I Do [What A Music]


9. Skrillex & Habstrakt – Chicken Soup [OWSLA]


10. Skrillex & Rick Ross – Purple Lamborghini [Atlantic/Warner]


H/T: EDMTunes, Photo credit: aLIVE Coverage.

Tiësto teases 5 new tracks during Ultra set, announces new EP

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tiesto-ultra-music-festival-2016-pic-rukes

On March 23, Tiësto took to the Ultra 20 main stage for a special sunset performance. During his 90-minute set, the godfather of dance music brought out a couple of surprise appearances, including his fabled alter ego, Marshmello, along with a loveable closing moment when his fiancé, model Annika Backes, joined him for a kiss.

What made Tiësto’s performance so special, however, was how much unreleased new music the Dutch powerhouse producer dropped onto his Miami audience — five brand new tracks, to be exact. The new music will be a part of Tiësto’s new EP being release this Friday, March 30th. The release marks the first new material from Tiësto since 2014, when he released his fifth studio album, A Town Called Paradise.

Watch Tiësto’s Ultra 2018 main stage performance now.

Authorities detain man after Instagram post with rifle appearing to name Ultra Music Festival

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Ultra DAY I - 001-1

Miami authorities have detained a man who was believed to be targeting Ultra Music Festival in a post on Instagram over the weekend. The name on the account led law enforcement to a man named Rayne Russell, who appears to have posted a photo holding a high-powered rifle, captioned with “Ready for the weekend,” and hashtaged, “#tgif,” “#ultramusicfestival” and, “#mmw2018.” The photo posted pictured Rayne posing with the rifle and an additional handgun with a silencer on the table next to him. It wasn’t long before Ultra’s security team noticed and notified police.

ultra-shooter-suspect-photo

The photo was tagged in Fort Lauderdale, and police immediately tracked down the suspect and brought him into custody for questioning. According to police, Rayne traveled to Miami from Jamaica for the festival and was posing in the photo with a family member’s legally-owned firearms. After being taken in to custoday, authorities determined Russell posed no credible threat. Ray Martinez, head of Ultra’s security team, recalled October 2017’s Las Vegas massacre in which a lone gunman opened fire on the crowd at Route 91 Harvest Festival.

“Really? Right after the Vegas incident happened? We met together with the Miami Police Department and started our planning right from that moment and looked at the lessons learned — what you can learn from those incidences.”

Russell was said to be released following the event on Sunday. Ultra weekend in Miami coincided with March for Our Lives rallies across the world calling for stricter gun control. In response to the Las Vegas massacre, Ultra’s security team implemented a number of hightened security measures ahead of this year’s event, including an applied focus on social media activity leading up to the weekend.

Via 7 News Miami

Relive your favorite sets of Ultra Music Festival 2018

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Photo credit: aLIVE Coverage.

Festival season is officially in full swing as Ultra Music Festival (UMF) has officially wrapped its 20th anniversary event in grandiose display. The ever-expanding franchise recently announced its acquisition of Winter Music Conference, along with their expansion into China with Ultra Beijing and Ultra Shanghai.

Living up to its promise to “expect the unexpected” in 2018, UMF capped off a lofty Miami Music Week with a number of attention-grabbing acts from dance music’s top tastemakers, including David Guetta, Kaskade, Eric Prydz, and Above & Beyond, along with an illustrious cast of newcomers in REZZ, Jauz, and Virtual Self. The most exalted act of the weekend came in the form of a highly anticipated reunion from Swedish House Mafia, who filled the surprise guest slot to close out the festival. Marshmello made his main stage debut and premiered his newest collaboration with Lil Uzi Vert, The Chainsmokers put the naysayers to bed with their high-energy performance, which included four unreleased tracks and a flaming drum solo, and Sir Carl Cox delivered a high-powered spectacle in his Resistance Megastructure.

Other notable moments came care of DJ Snake, who brought out Tchami, Malaa, and Mercer to debut their new collaboration, “Let’s Get Ill;” Axwell Λ Ingrosso, who opened their set with a captivating new track ID; Tiësto, who invited out his new fiancé, model Annika Backes, to the stage; and Steve Aoki, who assembled Daddy Yankee, Elvis Crespo, and Play-N-Skillz for a live performance of their recent release, “Azukita.”

For those who can’t count themselves lucky enough to have witnessed the live weekend spectacle, DA has compiled a comprehensive list of streams from UMF 2018 to relive the festival’s most magical moments.


DAY ONE

Armin van BuurenMain Stage

Armin van Buuren, ASOT Stage

DJ SnakeMain Stage

HardwellMain Stage

Steve AokiMain Stage

Oliver HeldensMain Stage

Axwell ^ IngrossoMain Stage

NGHTMRE & Slander present Gud VibrationsWorldwide Stage

QuintinoUMF Radio

Pete TongArcadia Spider

KungsMain Stage

SlushiiWorldwide Stage

Carl CoxCarl Cox Megastructure

Hot Since 82Arcadia Spider

BlasterjaxxUMF Radio

REZZUltra Worldwide

Virtual SelfLive Stage


DAY TWO

AfrojackMain Stage

Alan WalkerMain Stage

The ChainsmokersMain Stage

TiestoMain Stage

Tchami & Malaa present No RedemptionLive Stage

San HoloLive Stage

MarshmelloMain Stage

JauzMain Stage

Benny BenassiUltra Worldwide

Jamie JonesCarl Cox Megastructure

Carl CoxCarl Cox Megastructure

Dubfire b2b Nicole Moudaber b2b Paco OsunaCarl Cox Megastructure

Cheat CodesMain Stage

Danny TenagliaArcadia Spider


DAY THREE

Swedish House MafiaMain Stage

Above & Beyond

Eric Prydz

What So NotUltra Worldwide

David GuettaMain Stage

GhastlyUltra Worldwide

Andrew RayelA State of Trance

Paul OakenfoldA State of Trance

Gabriel & DresdenA State of Trance

FlosstradamusUltra Worldwide

Julian JordanUMF Radio

Pan Pot

Sick Indviduals

Quix b2b WukiUMF Radio

Benny BenassiUltra Worldwide

Keys n KratesLive Stage

Valentino KhanUMF Radio

OokayLive Stage

Cedric GervaisUltra Worldwide

Salvatore GanacciUltra Worldwide

MatadorArcadia Spider

Manila KillaUMF Radio

Frank WalkerUltra Worldwide

Photo credit: aLIVE Coverage

Ultra Miami announces 2019 dates, return to Bayfront Park

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Photo credit: aLIVE Coverage.

Despite mounting resistance to Ultra Music Festival‘s beloved location by downtown residents, the powerhouse organizing body behind UMF has secured its return to Miami’s Bayfront Park, March 29–31, 2019. The announcement, along with official dates, came via the festival guides handed out to attendees of the 2018 event.

Given the past petition attempt to boot the dance music festival from the heart of downtown Miami — a feature which is perhaps UMF’s biggest draw — their 2019 return to Bayfront Park is a major win for Ultra Miami. Ultimately, the City of Miami, who met late last year, ruled in favor of keeping the event at it’s home on the basis that UMF brings $79 million in commerce to South Florida. This past Friday, Ultra even hosted city commissioner, Ken Russell, to show just how much of an asset the festival is to Miami. Too big to fail, may be the correct term of phrase to use for Ultra.

Photo credit: Rukes

Ultra Music Festival acquires Winter Music Conference

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Ultra-Music-Festival-2018

Ultra Music Festival announced its acquisition of Winter Music Conference (WMC) during a press conference in Miami on March 21. In addition, Ultra acquired the International Dance Music Awards. The landmark deal was apparently in the works for a while, according to WMC co-founder Bill Kelly, who will retain his position to continue his vision for the conference.

“WMC will allow veterans and newcomers alike to develop themselves and their organizations to become competitive players in the industry,” says UMF Marketing and New Media Manager Albert Berdellans. “We are very excited to contribute to the vision of Miami as a hub of entertainment, culture and business.”

The merger seemed like a natural fit for Kelly and Russell Faibisch, Ultra’s Co-founder, Chairman & CEO, who began the festival as a way to cap off the business side of WMC with a celebration of dance music. During the press conference, Faibisch also commented on the the impact WMC has had on the dance music industry and their combined vision for moving forward.

“For over thirty years, WMC has been integral to Miami’s storied relationship with dance music. The conference was where some of the biggest deals in dance music history were made and we look forward to working with Bill to pair WMC and Ultra into one extravagant Miami Music Week,” says Faibisch.

Ultra’s acquisition comes after its initial success and growth came as a result of its positioning at the end of the Winter Music Conference — a feeder system it soon outgrew. Years of contention began between the once-neighborly events, which was confounded by the newer addition of Miami Music Week as it slowly began to take the focus away from the business aspect of the industry and channeled it more into non-stop parties taking center stage in Miami.

Weeks ago, media outlets began speculating over whether EDM’s longest-standing conference would see a 33rd edition in 2018. The week-long event had been waning attendance in recent years, but WMC announced it would return in the days leading to Ultra Miami.

Kelly said he’s excited about the new business model.

“A couple years ago, we revisited the idea of coming together. At that point the Amsterdam Dance Event and International Music Summit in Ibiza had formed over the course of the last five years or so, but Ibiza is a very small island, it’s very expensive, and it’s not easily available to businesses and fans. Over the years, the significance of WMC slightly diminished because of those, so to bring (attention) back to Miami, this acquisition was necessary.”

Berdellans also announced that UMF would expand into China with Ultra Beijing, June 16-17, 2018, as well as Shanghai, some time in September. Ultra now plays host to 47 festivals in 24 countries across six continents.

H/T: EDM.com

Marshmello brings out Will Smith for live performance of ‘Miami’ at Ultra Music Festival [Watch]

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Will Smith

Marshmello’s Main Stage set at Ultra Music Festival exemplified the festival’s forewarning to “expect the unexpected.”

Marshmello crowded the Main Stage with a series of surprise special guests, including fellow Ultra 20 performers Slushii and G-Eazy, as well as Yo Gotti, Southside, Lil Uzi Vert, and the inimitable Will Smith, for a live performance of Smith’s 1997 hit single, “Miami.”

Photo Credit: Ryan Hadj