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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.


There are 25 comments associated with this post

shinymetalass September 27, 2013, 13:13:06

WHat about the rampant use of pills and heroin in the northeast and entire country, which hasn’t prompted much “civil discourse and meaningful engagement in eachothers lives” Amherst is just afraid someone will die at their venue/school community. Test kits, SFSDP, dance safe, etc.. is the way to go.

Mr Random September 27, 2013, 13:17:05

Clearly UMA has an issue with their space button

me September 27, 2013, 13:18:23

WOW! Talk about hype taking over common sense… remind me again of how many people have died… maybe they should just close their campus to students… I hear that college kids are the biggest users of “Molly”... Stuff has been around since the 80s, just now making headlines and now everything needs to shut down… I don’t want to see anyone die, and no disrespect meant to the memory of the kids who did die a few weeks ago, but I’m guessing heroin and meth are still the kings of death and destruction … and last I heard, it was likely that what killed those kids was either something other than molly, sold as molly… or it was cut with something… Education is the answer…

Yep September 27, 2013, 13:40:16

The king of death and destruction is and always will be alcohol. I guess they’ll have to cancel football season next time student in another city gets killed in a post-game drunk driving accident.

Erik September 27, 2013, 13:40:19

Thanks goodness! College kids will definitely stop using drugs now.

DivorcedFromMolly September 27, 2013, 13:53:58

Now that people are afraid to take Molly, the EDM market is doomed. You have to be spun to like that music.

Cliff September 27, 2013, 13:56:32

Where was all this freaking out about Molly 10-12 years ago?

S September 27, 2013, 14:19:28

Problem is that the test kits only test if the substance is present, not if other substances are also present. So it may appear to be MDMA when it is in fact a little MDMA and a bunch of DXM. But yeah this move obviously will not stop people from doing illicit substances. But it is interesting that someone stepped up and made this correlation public in this manner. This may become a trend.

Mr Random September 27, 2013, 14:31:22


Bunk Deputy September 27, 2013, 15:19:46

Big fail, “Molly” does not mean “pure mdma,” it means “illicit white powder that isn’t cocaine.” If people were using pure mdma there wouldn’t be an issue. The injection of “molly” into mainstream culture, coupled with prohibition of real mdma and lack of control of research chemicals, has made it lucrative for drug dealers to pass off dangerous chemicals as “molly” and reap huge paychecks. “Molly” is giving MDMA a bad name.

Test kit user September 27, 2013, 16:03:57

S The test kits do give an idea about the cut. The reagent searches out the MDMA and colors it. Other substances in same tiny bit of powder tested will show themselves. In the past have tested pills. And the pure parts would speckle around all the bunk garbage

steve b September 27, 2013, 16:57:00

“Divorced” so it seems like you at one point were a married to Molly? So maybe it was your own irresponsibility that lead you to divorce her.. don’t assume others party irresponsibly or party at all for that matter. I for one, will go to PL, Big G or the like completely sober and love every second. good point about the alcohol “YEP” “S” the problem with test kits is that people don’t buy them. They do in fact tell you what adulterated substances are in the pill or powder. There are various kits out there, just gotta buy better ones.

me September 27, 2013, 18:04:00

I skipped mentioning alcohol only because the discussion centered around illegal substances… but, no doubt, alcohol is the king of all killer mind altering recreational substances!

me September 27, 2013, 18:15:15

On another note… just wait till everyone hears about Krokodil… Amherst ain’t seen nothing yet!

Test kit user September 27, 2013, 18:26:24

Krokodil will never catch on here….. I hope. That shit is death. Everyone go to Vice YouTube and check out the Russians getting down

J September 28, 2013, 14:38:54

This is beyond ridiculous UMASS is just trying to cover their ass! Krokodil will never make it here we are way too close to Mexico although you never know that kinda stuff is the true devil and what people need to be educated on

uhg...Mikey j September 28, 2013, 15:03:09

Cry about it why don’t you? If you’re are such a “just” institute, wouldn’t you have done your homework before booking pretty lights? Just like your students have to do their HW/research before a paper? I could make out (suck face) with 9 out of ten gals at a pretty lights show and get high on that s@it. Fabulous had to cancel a concert at a college bc he had been convicted of having 500 lbs of ganj or something retarded. It’s almost legal now…ya’ll need to recognize. These gray haired conservative, most likely republicans (nj shore cristie like…) should loosen up a little. MDMA was first conceived for marriage counseling, remember that. These scumbags need to not “jump off the cliff” just because Electric Zoo and big shot, Bloomburg took the plunge in NYC. Sounds like these dudes didn’t get the memo about getting laid, huh…or haven’t had it good in years? East coast, and these conservatives (come on….amherst….really….northampton crunchyville? ya’ll didn’t cancel Wilco….bet people were high as tits…ya didn’t cancel his white americana ass. I’d say its a different culture….that you (as in an institution) should acknowledge and be aware of BEFORE you invite an artist to have a party and sell tickets to the public. I don’t even like electronica that much, but I can understand and appreciate it….more importantly, SO DO OTHERS. And I hate to see these “others” upset about something so silly, shit, Miley Virus is talking about “dancing with Molly” on the radio, and 7 year olds are singing along with it. And the money these colleges have as an “activity fund” to pay for these things are huge. 50 bucks a person, times 20,000 students….as the “situation” says….“you do the math”. Question is,,,,,are they still gonna pay the cats? and if not…wheres that money gonna go? Igrid Michaelson?…..f T l. {F Their L’s}

Duh September 28, 2013, 22:45:48

The incoherent ramblings of the “but there’s lots of bad stuff in the world so two wrongs make a right” crowd is hilarious. When an EDM show makes the consistent cash that big time sports do for colleges, we’ll talk about hipocrysy. Until then, in UMass’ eyes, its just a lawsuit over drugs and shitty music.

me September 29, 2013, 11:57:13

@Duh… so what you are suggesting is doing drugs, OR listening to shitty music would be okay… just don’t put the two together? Sure as hell are lots of drugs on a college campus… sure as hell there is lots of shitty music being played on campuses… again, I ask, how many deaths are there from molly? My guess is the number is a drop in the bucket compared to alcohol… yet, I guess since the money raised from “big time sports” is so large, alcohol related deaths can be overlooked… who cares about the people killed by a drunk driver after a huge college game, right? Amherst can do what they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that they shut a show down for no other reason than hype… now that is hilarious!

Funky1 September 29, 2013, 14:30:46

it would be cool if society in general would stop trying to be everyone’s mommy and let the big boys and girls deal with their own life choices. college kids might do drugs at a concert? Wow that’s something new and hasn’t been going on for the last 50 years. It’s not the college’s problem if someone decides to ingest something before going to a show.

Common Sense September 30, 2013, 08:26:14

So, following that logic, we need to cancel Taste of Chicago because theres a risk of someone choking in their pizza. We need to close down 6 Flags because theres a small chance that you might die on a rollercoaster. Also, we need to cancel every professional sporting event in history due to concerns with alcohol and drunk driving.

bill October 2, 2013, 14:55:12

Just take acid

Otto October 2, 2013, 17:54:39

When I was in college, a student took over 40 tylenol, regretted it, called the ambulance and still died.
Good thing i went to a much better school than Amherst or else they would have banned acetominophen!

wooker t October 3, 2013, 04:22:04

Footloose in western Mass? Cancel drunken sports events first

dk70 October 3, 2013, 13:49:21

EDM and Molly: Garbage Together.

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