AMHERST, Mass. – Two upcoming electronic dance music (EDM) concerts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have been cancelled by campus officials who cited continuing concerns about overdoses of the drug Molly at a number of EDM performances at venues in the Northeast.
The decision affects an Oct. 4 performance by Above & Beyond and an Oct. 30 show by Pretty Lights, both scheduled for the Mullins Center. UMass Amherst previously cancelled a Sept. 21 performance of Return to Fantazia after seven deaths were linked to the potent form of MDMA or Ecstasy used by concert-goers in New York and Boston. Since then, other EDM performances in New England have been shut down or cancelled due to drug-related concerns.
“Unfortunately, the factors that led to cancellation of the Sept. 21 concert have not positively shifted. In fact, we have grown even more concerned about ongoing reports of overdoses at such events,” said Enku Gelaye, interim vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, in an e-mail sent today to UMass Amherst students. “The Molly-taking culture at these shows is real and now exceedingly dangerous to the health and safety of concert attendees.”
The e-mail message was co-signed by Zachary Broughton, president of the Student Government Association, who was involved in discussions with campus officials leading up to the cancellation decision.
Recognizing that drug abuse is not limited to EDM concerts, Gelaye said the campus is taking steps to warn students about the dangers associated with Molly and other drugs and stressed the need for a community-wide approach to addressing such issues.
“While it is true that college students should be trusted to take responsibility for their own actions, our administrative and student leadership must also take responsibility for creating a safe and positive environment that encourages and cultivates good decision-making,” she said. “That is ongoing work and critical to building a community of caring and active engagement.”
Refunds for tickets to the Above & Beyond and Pretty Lights shows at the Mullins Center are available at the point of purchase.