Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue


Published: 2013/09/27

UMass Amherst Cancels Above & Beyond, Pretty Lights Shows Due to "Molly" Concerns

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has cancelled their upcoming Pretty Lights and Above & Beyond concerts due to the prevalence of “Molly,” or (allegedly) pure MDMA, at electronic music shows. The school’s move comes a few weeks after a series of overdose deaths at dance music events in the Northeast.

UMass Amherst officials sent an email yesterday informing all students about the cancellation of the Above & Beyond and Pretty Lights shows, which were scheduled to take place on October 4 and October 30, respectively. In the email, the school claims that, while they would like to believe their students are responsible enough to be trusted, “the evidence is clear that Molly use is closely linked to EDM concerts.” Refunds for students that bought tickets to the shows will be available at the point of purchase.

While UMass has determined that canceling these events is the best way to deal with the prevalence of Molly on the electronic music scene, others have decided to take a different route. As previously reported, the EDM-packed TomorrowWorld festival recently announced that it would be partnering with DanceSafe to educate fans about the dangers of drug use, while also providing them with information about to use drugs like Molly in the safest manner possible.

Here’s a look at the email that UMass Amherst sent to it’s students yesterday:

A short time ago, the University cancelled the Return to Fantazia, an
electronic dance music event scheduled at the Mullins Center. We were
gravely concerned about a rash of MDMA, Ecstasy or Molly-related
overdoses and deaths in the Northeast related to these events.
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.

The Molly-taking culture at these shows is real and now exceedingly
dangerous to the health and safety of concert attendees. As a result,
the University is cancelling Above & Beyond, scheduled for Oct. 4, and
Pretty Lights, scheduled for Oct. 30.

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. That is ongoing work and critical to building a
community of care and active engagement.

We have broadly shared information about resources and promoted
campus-wide awareness on the dangers of Molly, an illegal, manufactured
drug banned by our Code of Student Conduct. For more detailed
information on Molly and its side effects go to, or
contact University Health Services, the Center for Health
Promotion, Dean of Students Office or the UMass Amherst Police Department.

We know EDM concerts are not the only place a student can use Molly or
other drugs, but the evidence is clear that Molly use is closely linked
to EDM events. We certainly hope the deliberative process the
administrative staff and the Student Government Association took in
evaluating this matter highlights the seriousness of the issues and our
commitment to a safe university environment. The educational efforts
will continue. The campus-wide discussions on the use of Molly, alcohol
and other drugs will also continue. Despite the disappointment some
students will feel, we hope this is an opportunity to hone in on the
values that we aspire to as a community: care, civil discourse and
meaningful engagement in each other’s lives.

Students who have purchased tickets for the Above & Beyond and Pretty
Lights shows can obtain refunds at the point of purchase.

Show 25 Comments