Canadian Festival-Goers Are Worried About Tainted Drugs: VICE Survey

In The Festival Harm Reduction Project series, we examine drug use at music festivals and clubs across the globe, and explore what artists, organizers, harm reduction groups, and concert-goers are doing to make nightlife safer.

According to an exclusive survey conducted by THUMP and VICE, many Canadians attending music festivals this summer are concerned about harmful substances in their drugs.

In April, we ran an anonymous questionnaire asking people to share information about their experiences with drugs and harm reduction practices at concerts. Of the over 4,600 people surveyed across the country, 66.3 percent said they were worried about their drugs being contaminated, and 81.3 percent said they wanted to see testing services made more widely available at festivals and events. These findings seem even more vital in light of North America’s ongoing opioid crisis, which shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

“We have a huge risk of ten, 20, 50, 100 people dying at festivals this year,” Donald MacPherson, executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, told VICE Canada. “Hopefully it won’t happen, but fentanyl has changed the game in terms of the toxicity on the market.”

Though checking of drugs at festivals exists in a legal grey area, and the scientific community remains divided as to the reliability of consumer-grade kits, our results suggest there’s high demand for these services at festivals. Below are our biggest takeaways from the survey. THUMP will continue to report on harm reduction efforts in upcoming months, and look out for a VICE Canada feature on what festivals are doing to prepare for the threat of drug-related overdoses.

All illustrations by Emma O’Neill

The four most represented provinces were (in order) Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec, which also happen to have the largest populations in Canada. Of the respondents, slightly under 60 percent identified as female. Over 63 percent were between the ages of 18 and 24 years old.

It’s important to note here that people who use drugs at festivals are more likely to volunteer for a survey about drug use than those who don’t. Of those who said they hadn’t, 43.7 percent answered “yes” or “maybe” when asked if they’d take drugs at a concert this summer.

In a study by Health Canada reported by Global News, 2016 saw a 43 percent increase over the previous year in the number of street drugs testing positive for fentanyl across the country. Of the 2,503 samples submitted to Health Canada by Canadian law enforcement agencies, the illicit drugs most frequently found to contain fentanyl were heroin, ANPP (4-anilino-n-phenethylpiperidine, an intermediate drug in the synthesis of fentanyl), cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Of those who responded to THUMP’s survey, only 21.7 percent said they’d buy from someone they just met—a finding harm reduction expert Julie-Soleil Musson said speaks to a greater public awareness today of the dangers of tainted substances. “I would have been surprised five years ago,” said Musson, who is the director of Quebec women’s substance abuse prevention organization Elixir, and also works with non-profit harm reduction group GRIP Montreal. “But I’m happy to see now that they’re concerned. It confirms they’re afraid of their drugs.”

Other substances survey takers reported using included cocaine, mushrooms, GHB, new psychoactive substances (MDA, MXE, 2C series), benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin), codeine, and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet).

While at least 2,458 Canadians died from an opioid-related overdose in 2016 according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, our results suggested that very few people use heroin and fentanyl at festivals (0.7 and 0.8 percent respectively). Additionally, where people did report using heroin at festivals, Musson pointed out that it might be used for medical purposes to treat addiction, as opposed to recreational ones.

Though paying a visit to the medical tent is crucial in the event of a drug-related emergency, it would appear that many Canadians are still hesitant about using these services at festivals, likely for fear of being stigmatized or facing legal repercussions. But in May, the federal government passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act into law, which provides those who call 911 for themselves or another person in the case of an overdose immunity from simple drug possession charges. “That helps a lot,” said Musson. “People might feel more comfortable approaching paramedics since they can’t be judged.”

Other forms of harm reduction practiced by concert-goers included using a buddy system, ingesting small doses of drugs, not mixing substances, using chill-out tents/areas, and drug-checking services at festivals where available.

Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) works by attaching to the same brain receptors that receive heroin and other opioids, and blocking those compounds for 30 to 60 minutes to reverse the respiratory depression that can result from an opioid overdose. In Canada, these take-home kits are available at pharmacies without a prescription, and many provinces offer them for free. While not all experts agree on their effectiveness, an increasing number of venues across the nation now carry them, and provincial health services programs have stepped up their efforts to promote their use by civilians.

A staggering majority of survey takers told THUMP that they’d take advantage of substance checking at festivals if those services were available. Other suggestions given to improve their concert-going experiences included “amnesty bins” (containers where drugs can anonymously be dropped off before entering festivals), designated areas for doing drugs, free water/extra refill stations, and less aggressive, gender-equal security.

While GRIP Montreal and others are putting continued pressure on festivals to offer testing services, there are currently no provincial or federal laws mandating it. Canadian courts have yet to make a definitive ruling on whether workers or volunteers at these stations can be held criminally responsible for aiding or abetting possession, though most organizations that practice drug checking do not touch substances themselves as a precautionary measure.

“We have to create a context where [festivals] are criminally negligent if they don’t have these services there—we’re kind of in the opposite [position] right now, where they’re seen as negligent if they do have them there since they are so-called ‘encouraging’ drug use,” said MacPherson. “There should be a baseline all festivals have to put in place, just as they have to [in order to get a permit] with washrooms or water or food.”

Additional reporting by Allison Tierney.

Max Mertens is on Twitter.

When Festivals Respond to Their Environment, Magic Happens

Just northwest of Milan you’ll find Villa Arconati. In 1610, nobleman and art collector Galeazzo Arconati acquired the castle that had sat on the site since the Medieval days. Under his watchful eye the the palace was reconstructed with grand intent; furnished with frescos and populated with the patron’s extensive collection of Roman statues. The gardens were designed in keeping with 17th century taste, replete with pristine gravel tracks and a maze of symmetrical hedges.

400 years on, the further reaches of the garden contain an overarching canopy of trees; a festoon night-lit tunnel has emerged. Off to one side is the beginnings of a labyrinth, in the centre of which stands experimental Berlin-based vocalist Stine Janvin. Looping and bending her voice, she builds bursts of shrill notes into a dizzying wall of sound—the initially fragile-sounding vocals, quickly becoming a heady surge, as delicately placed notes waver into screams. The afternoon has dipped into evening, and the sky’s blurred from burnt-peach into bruised-blue.

It is the first of many occasions across a weekend when music and place seem to be conspiring. The same weekend, in fact, that saw most of the UK descend on another eco-conscious festival slightly closer to home, THUMP spent three sweltering days in the muggy cloisters of Villa Arconati’s wooded gardens for Terraforma Festival.

All photos by Michela Di Savino.

Walk around the villa in 2017, in June’s 37º degree heat, and it’s still majestic, if a little scuffed. The building’s face seems stately, palatial, but its corners have softened over time.

On closer inspection the plaster is fractured, the features of the gargoyles muted and the walls swept yellow by centuries baking in the sun. For all its historical standing, it looks ready to fall apart in the places—something recognized by the Augusto Rancilio Foundation who are currently leading a massive restoration project on the site. Using private investment and visitor donations, they are on a mission to, in their words, “bring about a rebirth of Villa Arconati as a new centre of the creative and contemporary arts.”

Restoration is loaded term, and it’s not one you’d necessarily associate with rebirth. Typically, certainly here in the UK, renovating a historic property means bureaucracy and preservation—lots of a cordoned off four-poster beds and “KEEP OFF THE GRASS” signs. It normally means opening a small cafe, and charging pensioners £15 to wander around the drawing room before trying to flog them a commemorative biscuit tin. What it doesn’t mean, generally speaking, is avant-garde electronic music.

Speaking to Ruggero Pietromarchi, one of the festival organizers, after the event, he explains how the festival’s relationship with the villa began. Prior to organizing Terraforma he had been working for a production agency that had been putting on a series of events at Arconati for years—mostly classical concerts by the likes of Ludovico Einaudi. Through working on the site in this capacity, Pietromarchi realized its potential, largely down to the untouched, left-to-ruin gardens—along with collaborators he began to envisage Terraforma, a festival that was “site-specific,” that would interact with and positively improve its environment. “I realized we could help this place of huge importance to Italy’s cultural history,” he tells me. “It was perfect.”

Suzanne Ciani.

Talking to Pietromarchi, what’s striking is his flexible understanding of what it is to be sustainable. “That can be more short term, or long-term, like the way we are cleaning up the park. Sustainability is trying to find the balance in every action you take.”

Even the number of Italian acts the festival books is viewed as an act of sustainability. “It’s both philosophical and practical,” Pietromarchi adds. The high percentage of local artists—from the hisses and lulls of Rome-based DJ Rawmance to Paquita Gordon and Ece Duzgit’s slow-building, but ultimately transformative B2B— of course cuts down on flights, but also contributes to the site-specific nature of the event. Pietromarchi adds, “I want it to be international of course, but this is an Italian festival.” This interplay between the festival and the site even extends to what the artists play. While he obviously doesn’t dictate their setlist, Pietromarchi is keen to speak with artists ahead of their sets to introduce them to the festival’s spirit and atmosphere. “I try to make every artist aware of the specific setting; who is playing before, who is playing after,” he adds.

The dialogue between artist and setting is ever present. On Saturday morning we drag ourselves to the main-stage for 10am. Already the sun is bearing down, and the constant scourge of mosquitoes hover expectantly. Enter Italy’s brightest star and Terraforma resident Donato Dozzy, who embarks on three-hours of some of the most enthralling ambient we’ve ever heard. Like the hot, sweet air itself, it sounds like being dragged through honey—strange and soporific. Or Suzanne Ciani’s triumphant set in the aforementioned labyrinth, the drowned arpeggios of her Buchla almost mimicking the garbled clicks and whistles of the twilight forest.


This is no mistake of course. The clue’s in the name. “Terraforming,” so their website goes, “is the theoretical process in which life on a planet becomes possible through the creation of an atmosphere.” It’s the sort of self-aggrandizing that in lesser hands could come off as unsightly, but in this case the claim checks out. At every stage the festival are concerned with how their presence on the site can create something new.

The labyrinth stage, for example, is entirely new venture the festival organizers have constructed in collaboration with the Augusto Rancilio Foundation. Using sketches that dates back to 1743 of a maze that may, or may not, have actually existed in the garden, the three-year project has seen rings of hornbeam hedges planted, with the final inner circles of the design due to be completed next year. A pamphlet, handed to festival goers on arrival explains the project in detail, along with period illustrations of Milanese nobility enjoying the “garden of delights,” and extensive catalogues of the flora and fauna on display.

There are smaller touches as well. On arrival festival attendees are given personal ashtrays to collect their own cigarette butts, as well as biodegradable soap and deodorant. These free gifts seem to inspire everyone, miraculously, however wavey they get, nobody seems to drop a cigarette end or a plastic cup on the floor all weekend. We should also add, that at no point does conscience cloud the party. From the subterranean tremors of Mala’s buoyant midnight set, to the distorted pummels of Dreesvn’s sudden-impact techno; reverence for the location never stops people from letting loose and kicking up a few leaves.

When I ask Pietromarchi if he thinks Terraforma’s model could work anywhere else, he pauses for thought. “It’s been suggested a lot that we start terraforming other places,” he responds warily, “I think it’s interesting, and it could be done, but I want to avoid it becoming a format.” The way of working could work elsewhere, but the last thing he wants is a franchise; a Terraforma template that can be rolled out in any other part of the world. “I could imagine a Terraforma somewhere else but it would probably be called something else. It wouldn’t be ‘Terraforma Sicily’. It would have its own soul.”

Nevertheless Terraforma offers an important case study for the festival market. Environmental concerns are gradually moving up the agenda, but too often they are translated into cursory gestures of recycling bins and refillable cups. These are, of course, important considerations, but what’s largely missing is a more meaningful assessment of how festivals can contribute and interact with their locations. Before we got lost in the mire of city-park weekenders, gourmet hot-dogs and silent disco tents, there must have been a reason why we thought putting live music on outdoors was a good idea. Terraforma points to the way back—showcasing that when a festival works with and programs around its site, the results can be singular and extraordinary.

Sustainability doesn’t have to be a box-ticking exercise, it can be weaponized. By building on Milan’s past, Terraforma is signaling the future.

Follow Angus on Twitter.

Five Acts We're Desperate to Catch at Sónar 2017

This post appeared originally on THUMP UK.

When social and political shitstorms are raging out there in the real world, you’ll probably be looking for an escape valve; luckily for all of us, festival season’s here to save everyone from interminable chats down the pub about centrism, careerism, and Marie Le Conte. Why spend a summer cowering under parasols in British beer gardens when you can easyJet over to the continent for a few days of sun, sand, and suspiciously cheap seafood?

For years now, Sónar’s been one of the most loved and respected events in the calendar, and given that the sun-dappled streets of Barcelona are preferable to waterlogged fields, mud baths, and wet-wipe-showers, it isn’t hard to see why so many Brits flock to Spain for a few days of parties, talks, and queuing up for the right wristbands.

A meeting point for music fans and industry heads alike, who wouldn’t be up spending three days and two nights partying in a city where you can buy an ice cold beer for €1 on a corner at La Ramblas, before soothing the hangover with a restorative dip in the ocean?

One thing that’s always a bugbear at these mammoth multi-disciplinary conference events is the schedule. Yeah, you usually get a little timetable of the running order in a tiny book immaculately encased in a plastic sheath hanging on a jazzy lanyard, but really, what are the unmissable highlights? Ahead of the festival’s 24th year, which kicks off this week, we’ve done all the hard work and put together five of the acts that, on our terms, are the ones you should be stood in front of holding a Tropical Red Bull, hyper-carbonated lager, or whatever you so desire…

1. Suzanne Ciani (Sónar by Day, Friday)

Photo via Alchetron

The word pioneer is bandied about quite liberally in our post-truth world, but Suzanne Ciani is without a doubt entirely worthy of the moniker. A name that most electronic music fans recognize, but maybe don’t entirely grasp the importance of, Ciani was born in postwar America, and through meeting synthesizer designer Don Buchla at University of California in the ’70s, helped the shape the face of modern computer generated music. An early adopter of analog synths, her early work ranged from advertising soundtracks for companies such as Coca-Cola, all the way through to scoring movies like The Incredible Shrinking Woman. In the ’80s she became one of the leading lights in the new age genre, with standout tracks such as “The Eighth Wave” still making their way into the more subdued strain of DJ mixes over three decades later. It’s not often you get to see a true innovator in action, so consider Ciani’s Friday daytime set on the Red Bull Music Academy unmissable.

2. Beautiful Swimmers (Sónar By Night Saturday)

Photo via Fabric

Simon & Garfunkel. Hall & Oates. Chas & Dave. The list of infamous musical partnerships goes on, but none resonate quite as much as Washington DC-based DJ duo Max D and Ari Goldman. Whilst they both smash it individually, releasing music via their own respective labels (Max D heads up Future Times, whilst Ari runs World Building), when the pair get together in front of a dedicated crowd, the Swimmers grab every gold medal going. Following a steady narrative of ruff and ready house and a smattering of techno, the pair expertly weave in forgotten gems across the electronic music spectrum, be it UK garage, kwaito, or blissed out early ’90s piano jams. Rest assured, your arms and legs will not be stationary at any point during this set. Oh, and we guarantee that you’ll be trying to adopt Max’s signature head-rolling into your own dance-repertoire as soon as you clock him doing it.

3. Masters At Work (Sónar By Night, Friday)

Setting you up with another set of pioneers, Sónar by night on Friday plays host to a leg-achingly spectacular six-hour session from New York house bosses, Masters At Work. Consisting of Louie Vega and Kenny Dope, the New York natives have amassed a reputation as the dons of the city’s glittering house, hip hop, and Latin dance music scene over the last 30 years. Just one look at the pair’s discography is enough to make you feel light-headed, with a bevy of vocal cameos from the likes of soul and funk legend Roy Ayers, Loose Joints, Shanice, India…and Mel B.

4. Floorplan (live) (Sónar by Day, Friday)

Photo via THUMP

Everybody who says they like house and techno (yes, everybody) should know who Robert Hood is. An early member of Underground Resistance alongside Jeff Mills and Mad Mike Banks, Hood later forged his own illustrious solo career, acting as the tour de force in establishing the genre we now know as minimal techno. A powerful figure in the city’s scene, he has since left the techno homeland for Alabama, but remains active as both Robert Hood and the more gospel-spiked Floorplan. Keeping it in the family, he enlisted his daughter Lyric to tour as part of the live show which can only be described as a “religious experience.” The fact that he’s an ordained pastor adds to that, obviously, but even little Christopher Hitchens might see the face of the Lord when the Hoods drop “We Magnify His Name” or “Ritual”. If you’re going to talk to God, then make like Hood and do it via techno.

5. Elysia Crampton (Sónar by Day, Friday)

Photo via THUMP

Despite producing and remixing as E+E for quite some time, it’s really been the in past two years that we’ve seen Virginia-based experimental artist Elysia Crampton profile truly rise after capturing the world’s attention with her debut album on FaltyDL’s Blueberry Recordings, American Drift. A strong and commanding voice in the support of queer and trans identities in the music and club space, Crampton aims to instill positivity and progression into her productions, which are an aural smorgasbord of astral dripped pads, stilted reggaeton-esque percussion, chaotically spiraling piano keys, and perfectly disorientating sound effects to create an out-of-this-world experience that is quite hard to compare with anything else out there.

Sonar 2017 takes place later this week in Barcelona.

Aphex Twin and Abra Dominated London's Latest Field Day Festival

This post appeared originally on THUMP UK.

Perhaps because most of the attendees have succumbed to locked jaws and existential crises by the Sunday, the team behind London’s Field Day wisely decided to concentrate the party into a one-day affair for 2017. Happily, the supercharged approach was a success. Like most festivals that’ve lasted beyond a second edition, it possesses a loyal following of fans who’ll slap down cash for tickets before a single act’s been announced, but this year’s bill really did have everything—from Arab Strap to Aphex Twin the organizers had sorted stuff to suit everyone’s taste.

Amongst the glittered-faces and backwards snapbacks, the sun shone and all the wounds we’d suffered during the great downpour of 2016 healed. Things felt a little quiet though, but any idea that the festival had suddenly been abandoned by the bright young things that usually make up the crowd was immediately dispelled by the realization that everyone’d made their way to the new stage—a behemoth that was anticlimactically just called The Barn. Said barn was more enormodome than Emerdale, a fuck-off air-hanger that brought Motion in Bristol in mind. Field Day has previously come under fire for dodgy sound, but acoustics and speakers in this new venue were certainly not lacking. Hefty was the word for it. The Barn was the biggest draw for the audience, and with the likes of Nicolas Jaar and Nina Kraviz gracing its stage, electronic music seemed to be the priority.


Over on the main stage, blissed-out RnB singer Abra played a surprisingly early set (despite her recent success) to a field that was only just beginning to fill up. By the time I had managed to get a drink, down said drink, piss that drink out, and find my continuously vanishing friends it was time for Loyle Carner to bring out his laid-back hip-hop to a crowd who evidently adored him. In his refreshingly humble manner, Carner exclaimed that he “couldn’t believe so many people [had] turned up.” Nearby, playing to a rammed Crack Stage was Mura Masa, an artist who has recently achieved a string of bangers with a zeitgeist hit list of guest vocalists. In the vein of SBTRKT’s early sets, and when Disclosure realized they could charge more to put (live) on the lineup, Mura Masa eschewed decks in favor of live instrumentation and vocals. Without the luxury of bringing out Desiigner, A$AP Rocky or Charli XCX, he had a dedicated singer who did a stellar job at hyping up the crowd.

Proving that they’re not merely troll music which stopped being funny or interesting in 2014, the PC Music squad threw yet another showcase event, featuring appearances from the post-ringtone godfather AG Cook, the tallest man in music, Danny L Harle, and “Hi” chanteuse, Hannah Diamond. If the reaction they got from the packed crowd at the Moth Club stage is anything to go by, people—fashion students, presumably—still love PC Music.

You and your mates had a GREAT day out…and fair play!

Everything we’ve mentioned so far was good, great, amazing, but honestly, we were only really here to see Richard D James tearing the barn a new one. Bathed in lasers and dry ice, Aphex delivered a devastatingly potent set of mangled hardcore and erroneous electronica. Apart from a few shoegazing sadsacks who’d camped out at Slowdive, it felt like the entire festival had decamped to see the strange Cornish bloke’s strange-as-ever set.

With the mutated faces of the audience—visually manipulated on the big screens as part of Aphex’s A/V experience—rolling around our heads, me and my friends joined the thousands schlepping out of Victoria Park, back to flats full of contented Field Day fans, ready to discuss the event in excruciating detail. Or something like that, anyway.

And, no, we didn’t actually witness Moodyman playing “Sex on Fire.” Sorry.

These Intimate Photos Show a Side of Detroit's Movement Most People Miss

Photos by Lyndon French

Let’s face it—photo galleries from music events are usually pretty boring. You see the same images over and over again: some guy with his hands in the air, a sea of faces in the crowd, a silhouette of a DJ from behind. Who cares?

Lyndon French, however, is not your average festival photographer. When I met him backstage at Movement in Detroit this year, he admitted that he’s more into portraits, and doesn’t have much experience taking photos of music events at all—but that’s exactly what I like about his approach.

Rather than treating the festival as an experience to be factually documented, Lyndon focuses on unexpected juxtapositions—between architectural shapes, interesting textures, and all sorts of tiny details—often pulling them out of their mundane contexts to create particular moments of poignancy.

Below, the images he captured over three days at Movement 2017 are a testament to how music photography doesn’t have to suck.

How to Party This Festival Season Without Destroying Your Health

In The Festival Harm Reduction Project series , we examine drug use at music festivals and clubs across the globe, and explore what artists, organizers, harm reduction groups, and concert-goers are doing to make nightlife safer.

Festival season is upon us. Every weekend of the summer, hoards of revellers will descend upon fields and forests and desert plains the world over to dance and make merry for a few hedonism-filled days. Free from the constraints of the normal world, multi-day parties can be one of the best ways to enjoy music. But with all that sun, booze, and drugs come risks to your health, including dehydration, heatstroke and exhaustion.

THUMP spoke with Alex Pollak, CEO and Founder of ParaDocs Worldwide—an event medical service that works with festivals and promoters including Governor’s Ball, Life in Color, and Robot Heart—to find out how to stay safe out there.

1. Protect yourself from the sun

Alex Pollak: Sun protection is important if you’re going to be out all day at the main stage, including a hat and also something to put over you. Bringing a hat is a great idea—especially one that protects the back of the neck. It’s just good to bring something to protect you during the day.

2. Stay hydrated

Most people do know this, but alcohol dehydrates and so do energy drinks. What’s going to help is water and electrolytes. But drinking tons of water isn’t going to help; you really need electrolytes too.

Signs of dehydration are dry mouth, thirst, dark or no urine, lightheadedness, fatigue, rapid heartbeat. And signs of heat exhaustion (which overlaps with signs of dehydration) are muscle cramps, headache, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, pale skin, and confusion.

How much water one should consume is dependent on BMI, age, weather, and level of activity, but an average adult at a festival during a hot summer day should drink about two to four eight ounce cups per hour.

As hydration depends on so many variables, a good rule of thumb is to hydrate frequently, when you are thirsty or sweating, and aim to keep your urine color light yellow-clear. It is best to drink water or drinks with electrolytes that will replenish sodium lost from sweating.

Most festivals will let you bring in a 20 ounce sealed water bottle, and many of the larger festivals do offer free water refill stations. But we always have water available in the medical tents, so people can come and ask for a bottle of water.

3. Pack your own festival survival kit

If you’re putting together a kit, you really should read the festival’s rules for what’s allowed in. But some things that you should think about bringing are earplugs, bandaids, a hat to protect yourself from the sun, phone charger, or battery pack.

You should also definitely bring a refillable 20 ounce water bottle. If you bring a Camelbak, most places require that the bladders are clear and empty. A flashlight is also a great thing to have; we treat a lot of trip and falls in the medical so a flashlight is great to have to see your way in the dark.

4. Bring any medications you need

It’s really tough to bring medical stuff into a festival. The basic rules from bringing in a prescription are: you can bring in enough for the festival, you have show valid ID, the prescription has to be current or not expired, and it has to be in your name.

You cannot bring in over the counter medications if it’s not sealed. Most festivals will allow sealed packets, but every festival is different, so check before you go. Things like Advil, however, you can get at the medical tent. Everything is free in the medical tent.

5. Go to the medical tent if you aren’t feeling well

If your friend is acting tired, if their pupils are crazy dilated or constricted, if they’re sweating insane amounts even if they haven’t been dancing a lot, if they’re slurring their speech, or if they’re fidgeting way too much—all of these are signs they need to be taken to the medical tent.

We’d rather people err on the side of caution—if they feel anything is wrong, they should come to the tent. We would rather see someone 50 times a day as opposed to having to go and find them once they reach a really critical point. Just come check in with us to make sure you or your friends are ok. You can get some free water and cool off in our air conditioned tent!

6. Remember that you won’t get in trouble if you seek help

We have a good revolving door policy; people used to think that if you walk into the tent, the next thing is you’re going to jail or the hospital and you’re never coming back to the festival. But if you come in and you’re proactive and tell us what you took, no one is telling anyone. Especially if you’re over 18—we’re not allowed to tell anyone. The parents are not getting a phone call from us, because we’re not allowed to tell them because of patient confidentiality.

We’re trying really hard to break this stigma that you’re going to get in trouble if you come to the medical tent. It’s a very safe place; medical is not the enemy. We want people to come even if it’s just for a glass of water and to get cool.

The Sleep-Deprived Raver's Guide to Movement 2017's Afterparties

If club kids had their own holiday calendar, then Detroit’s Movement is techno Christmas. Once a year, rave crews from all over America congregate in dance music’s homeland for a long weekend of spiritual renewal and self-indulgence. There are boat parties. Fireworks. Daytime BBQs. Nighttime rendezvous.

And, as in everything in life, the best moments are often unexpected—like when I stumbled into Moodymann’s home last year after hanging outside the Underground Resistance headquarters, or watched a DIY play about Detroit’s musical history after someone handed me a flyer.

But serendipity only goes so far. In order to get the most out of Detroit’s booming post-festival party scene, you have to know where to look.

Below, we culled together all the best events—from 14-hour modular synth marathons to an experimental noise festival to hardcore gay raves—into one handy party chart. See you in the D.


1. 2lanes Auto Shop

Who: R Gamble, Sublimate (Turtle Bugg & Sagotsky), Olga
Where: Leland Social Club
When: 10PM-4AM

Detroit’s Joey 2Lanes teams up with Brooklyn’s Sublimate crew and friends for a cozy pre-party geared towards “techno cowboys and ambient cowgirls.” Guaranteed to be a homies-only vibe.

2. Marble Bar presents: Juan Atkins, Claude Young / Metroplex Night

Who: Juan Atkins, Claude Young, + a “very special guest”
Where: Marble Bar
When: 8PM-2AM

Juan Atkins founded Metroplex in 1985, and the label has played an integral role over the last three decades in transmitting Detroit techno to Berlin and beyond. Co-hosted by Deep Space Radio, this label showcase is for the old-school heads.


3. Eden III: Feat. SHXCXCHCXSH, Phase Fatale, Patricia, Volvox, Umfang, Jasen Loveland

Who: SHXCXCHCXSH, Phase Fatale, Patricia
Where: Tangent Gallery
When: 9PM-4AM

Swedish techno duo SHXCXCHCXSH kicks off their US tour with a choice lineup of supporting acts, including Detroit up-and-comer Jasen Loveland. Murky techno for the cerebral set.

4. Smartbar Movement opening party + BBQ

Who: Derek Plaslaiko b2b Jason Kendig, DJ Minx, Chrissy
Where: TV Lounge
When: 6PM-4AM

Chicago meets Detroit at Smartbar’s annual Movement takeover, which has become a tradition in itself. The cincher: FREE BBQ. Need we say more?

5. Physical Therapy III

Who: Matthew Dear, Shigeto, Mike Servito
Where: Marble Bar
When: 6PM-4AM

Matthew Dear, Mike Servito, and Shigeto planted their roots in Michigan before making it on the global stage. Here, the three DJs—all of Asian descent—will be joined by Laurel Halo, Carlos Souffrant, and many others. Come for the Slayzians, stay for the Ghostly squad.

6. Blank Code + SYSTEM + Communion Official Movement Pre-Party

Who: Alessandro Cortini (live), Black Asteroid, Jay Denham
Where: The Works
When: 5PM-6AM

Longtime Detroit promoters Blank Code and Communion join Minneapolis’ System and California’s BL_K NOISE for a night of modular synths, and noisy experimental sounds. As an RA commenter put it, bring a helmet to this one.

7. Trip Metal Fest

Who: Wolf Eyes, Pharmakon, Container
Where: El Club
When: Friday-Sunday, 6PM-Midnight

Less of an “afterparty” and more of an entire mini-festival in itself, Wolf Eyes’ celebration of the Mid-Western experimental scene is back after the success of last year’s debut. The three-day event is no longer free but “pay what you want”—which might not look as good on a billboard ad, but is still a pretty damn good deal.


8. The Belleville Three & Richie Hawtin @ the Masonic Temple

Who: The Belleville Three, Richie Hawtin, Derek Plaslaiko
Where: The Masonic Temple
When: 11PM-4AM

Atkins, May and Saunderson throw down with Hawtin and Plaslaiko at the Masonic Temple’s giant ballroom, forming a celebrity super-group that will vanquish the enemy: fist-pumping techno bros. Hopefully.

9. Detroit Love @ the Magic Stick

Who: Carl Craig, Moodymann, Andres
Where: Magic Stick
When: 11PM-4AM

Throw yourself into the arms of the delightfully eccentric, Prince-loving Moodymann, as well as Carl Craig and Andres, for a guaranteed good time. The O.G. Detroit vibes here are strong.

10. RBMA Presents: Soul Clap’s House of EFUNK

Who: Soul Clap, Biz Markie, Benoit & Sergio (live)
Where: TV Lounge
When: 10PM-12PM

When your soul starts to get weary from all the pummeling 4/4, Soul Clap’s 14-hour funk marathon is where you’ll go. Don’t miss hip-hop pioneer Biz Markie’s all-45″ DJ set and Scott Grooves’ new project, Overdubs.

11. Discwoman Detroit

Who: Shanti Celeste, Volvox, Umfang
Where: Grenadier Club
When: 10PM-6AM

Discwoman returns to Detroit with rising star Shanti Celeste, crew stalwarts Volvox and Umfang, and many others, bringing a much-needed wallop of techno feminism to a weekend still dominated by all-male lineups. 10 percent of proceeds from this party also benefit the Ruth Ellis Center, an organization for LGBT homeless youth in Detroit.

12. Tresor: Berlin/Detroit

Who: Marcellus Pittman, Ron Morelli, Claude Young
Where: Tangent Gallery
When: 10PM-7AM

Tresor teams up with Interdimensional Transmissions for a new party celebrating the deep connections between their two cities, Berlin and Detroit, with L.I.E.S. boss Ron Morelli, Intergalactic Gary, and many others. If you’re lucky, you might even see Tresor founder Dimitri Hegemann on the dancefloor—or quietly snoozing in a chair.

13. Texture

Who: Lena Willikens, Fred P, Mike Dunn
Where: Marble Bar
When: 10PM-11:59PM

If you’re going to marathon party, do it with the inestimable Cologne-based crate digger Lena Willikens, who joins New York house don Fred P and others at this 14-hour party hosted by longtime Detroit promoter Texture.

14. Tied presents: Detroit Boat Cruise with Daniel Bell

Who: Daniel Bell
Where: The Diamond Belle Boat
When: 1PM-4PM

Detroit’s Daniel Bell plays a three-hour set on this boat cruise by Chicago-based promoter Tied. If you like getting wavy to minimal techno, this one’s for you.

15. Deep Detroit

Who: Patrice Scott, Kai Alcé, Galcher Lustwerk
Where: The Studio Detroit
When: 10PM-5AM

Deep house and dusty techno grooves from Patrice Scott, Kai Alcé, and Galcher Lustwerk. Roll one up and roll through.

16. The Barge Movement Boat Party

Who: Worthy
Where: The Diamond Queen Boat
When: 12:30PM-4PM

Dirtybird’s Worthy headlines this 18+, booty-clapping boat party. Not for the faint of heart—or anyone over 30.

17. Club Toilet

Who: Aaron Clark, DJ Shiva, Ryan Smith
Where: Olympus Theater
When: 10PM-10AM

DJs from some of America’s top gay party crews, including Pittsburgh’s Honcho and LA’s Spotlight, are back for Movement’s filthiest afterparty. BYO toilet paper—you can thank us later.

Photo by Lyndon French


18. Dirtybird Players Detroit

Who: Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, J.Phlip
Where: The Fillmore
When: 10PM-4AM

The Dirtybird crew is only doing one party in Detroit this year—and this is it. Mayhem guaranteed from the post-EDM, trap-loving set.

19. Country Club Disco + Fk A Genre

Who: Mija, Billy Kenny, Golf Clap
Where: The Annex
When: 10PM-4AM

OWSLA star Mija is the main reason to go to this official Movement afterparty, which will descend on a club that’s a short walk away from the festival grounds. She’s everything.

20. KMS 30

Who: Kevin Saunderson, Robert Hood/Floorplan, The Saunderson Brothers
Where: The Magic Stick
When: 11PM-4AM

Kevin Saunderson founded KMS in 1987, and the stacked lineup at its party this year is a testament to the celebrated techno label’s enduring influence. In addition to Robert Hood as Floorplan, Saunderson’s two sons, Dantiez and Damarii, will also be playing—techno fam at its realest.

21. Adam Beyer presents Drumcode

Who: Adam Beyer, Nicole Moudaber, Keith Kemp
Where: The Masonic Temple
When: 11PM-4AM

No dance festival afterparty scene is complete without some adrenaline-pumping Drumcode techno. This time around, label leader Adam Beyer is joined by perennial favorite Nicole Moudaber and Paxahau’s resident DJ Keith Kemp.

22. Night/Day Party w/ Omar-S, DJ Stingray & more

Who: Omar-S, DJ Stingray, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Where: El Club
When: 11:55PM-2PM

Once the Trip Metal kids have left for the night, underground venue El Club plays host to Detroit luminaries Omar-S and DJ Stingray, as well as Los Angeles-based modular synth wizard Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Not to be missed.

23. No Way Back

Who: BMG, Erika, Derek Plaslaiko
Where: Tangent Gallery
When: 11PM-12PM

Interdimensional Transmissions and The Bunker’s annual afterparty is perhaps the most anticipated gathering of America’s techno illuminati every year—and their 10th anniversary is guaranteed to be extra special. Don’t forget to stay for the turnover into Industry Brunch, when fresh fruit is served at daybreak.

24. Interface – Scene 2017

Who: DVS1, Ø [Phase], Tommy Four Seven
Where: The Works
When: 9PM-9AM

DJs from Hush, Token Records, Blank Code, and other top techno joints join forces for this 12-hour romp.

25. ReSolute Goes Detroit

Who: Daniel Bell, Lauren Ritter, Connie
Where: Exodus Lounge
When: 7AM-7PM

Longtime New York rave crew ReSolute is doing a day party in Detroit this year with headliner Daniel Bell. Forgetting your sunglasses would be a big mistake.

26. OK, Cool!

Who: John Tejada, Honey Dijon, Danny Daze
Where: TV Lounge
When: 9PM-10AM

New York’s Honey Dijon makes her TV Lounge debut at this five-year anniversary of OK, Cool, joined by founders Dax Lee, Ted Krisko, and Mister Joshua. Sure to be a sophisticated affair.

27. Perfect Driver Loft Party

Who: DJ Godfather, Intermodal, ADMN
Where: The Claridge House
When: 10:30AM-5PM

Los Angeles-based house music and bass label Perfect Driver celebrates its fifth anniversary at an intimate loft party with free pizza and an open bar. We repeat: free pizza and open bar.

28. Dixon b2b Troxler

Who: Dixon b2b Seth Troxler
Where: Leland City Club
When: 10PM-6AM

Dixon b2b Troxler is basically catnip for the tech-house Ibiza-going crowd. This one’s already sold out, but maybe you could get in if you wore your blackest V-neck.

29. Onlythebeat presents: Shipfaced Detroit with Golf Clap

Who: Golf Clap, Eyes Everywhere, Imjustinbraun
Where: The Diamond Queen Boat
When: 12PM-3PM

Detroit house duo Golf Clap take the reigns at this boat party from dance music blog Onlythebeat. The salty sea air should do you some good.


30. Movement Official Closing Party

Who: Carl Cox b2b Joseph Capriati
Where: Masonic Temple
When: 11PM-4AM

Carl Cox is closing out Movement’s official closing party by sharing the decks with Italian techno don Joseph Capriati. Oh yes, oh yes!

31. Need I Say More XII

Who: TBA
Where: Old Miami
When: 7:15AM-7PM

Despite never announcing their lineup, Seth Troxler’s closing party at a dingy local dive bar is notorious for its long lines. The #1 destination for hardcore partiers with an infinite appetite for hedonism.

32. Memo presents Loefah, Hops & Monty Luke

Who: Loefah, Hops & Monty Luke
Where: El Club
When: 9PM-4AM

After a week of raving, submerging yourself in a sea of subwoofers and low-end vibrations at this new afterparty for the bass heads might count as self-care.

33. Interdimensional Transmissions presents: The Bunker

Who: Hot Mix (Mike Servito, Justin Cudmore, Gunnar Haslam), Antenes
Where: Tangent Gallery
When: 10PM-6AM

New York’s favorite techno boyband—Mike Servito, Justin Cudmore, Gunnar Haslam—get together as Hot Mix for this unmissable Bunker showcase.

34. Where Are MY Keys Detroit Edition

Who: Young Marco, Tim Sweeney, Honey Soundsystem
Where: Marble Bar
When: 9AM-6AM

Hosted by Beats in Space Radio, this function will be full of crate-digging house, disco, and other left-field specials from Amsterdam’s Young Marco, New York’s Tim Sweeney, and SF’s Honey Soundsystem.

35. Dirty Epic presents: Anthology 2017 with Stroboscopic Artefacts

Who: Lucy, Terrence Parker, Carlos Souffront
Where: The Works
When: 10PM-7AM

For everyone left standing on Tuesday morning, Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts is where you go to prove you’re the hardest motherfucker out there.

36. Industry Brunch
Who: Shawn Rudiman, John Barera, FBK (live)
Where: Tangent Gallery
When: 12PM-9PM

Living up to its name, Industry Brunch is where you’ll meet techno crews rolling deep from all over the country while munching on strawberries at sunrise. Don’t sleep.

Michelle Lhooq is documenting her Detroit misadventures on Twitter

We Spoke to the Inventor of the Weed Flower Crown About Getting High at Music Festivals

For two glorious weekends out of the year, Southern California’s Indio desert becomes the Promised Land at Coachella Music Festival. Gone are the concrete high-rises, worries of the 9-to-5 work week, and never-ending bills, replaced instead by three balmy days of live music, beautiful people, and mountain-lined horizons. At Coachella, you are the ruler of your utopian kingdom—or queendom—where anything is possible (unless you’re trying to see both Dixon and Richie Hawtin play at the same time).

But what’s a king or queen without a crown? The royal headgear has throughout history symbolized the power of its wearer, and was typically made using expensive metals and jewels. It’s since become a wildly popular accessory at music festivals like Coachella, though its materials (flowers) are far friendlier on hard-partying desert dwellers and their wallets.

Even a ubiquitous fashion statement such as the flower crown is prime for an upgrade, however, and California-based marijuana growers Lowell Herb Co. are happy to oblige. Last month, they announced they were selling a cannabis flower crown, which consists of white roses and leaves intertwined with a quarter-ounce worth of marijuana buds. The crown, which is part of a Coachella-themed promotion, comes as a bonus item with the purchase of pre-rolled joints containing their new “Coachella” marijuana blend, a combination of four strains which Lowell Herb Co. partner Sean (who requested we not use his last name) tells THUMP was created specifically to optimize the music festival experience by reducing anxiety and heightening the visual and aural senses.

Though the cannabis crowns are a first for the company, the team have numerous times in the past realized similar ideas and themed blends for special occasions, including a cannabis bouquet for Valentine’s Day. “We’re a flower-only company, which means we don’t really do edibles or concentrates or anything like that,” Sean says.

Edibles may not be Lowell Herb Co.’s thing, but their concept of wearables is certainly looking (and smelling) strong. THUMP chatted with Sean about the conception of the cannabis crown, festival-friendly weed, and ideas for their next novelty item.

THUMP: Who came up with the idea for this cannabis crown?
Sean: It was our publicist who came up with the idea. She’s a big fan of Coachella, and we’d previously done a Valentine’s Day bouquet that we came up with internally within the company, which was a big hit. We do blends all the time, like we’ll do a special blend for Election Night, or we’ll do a First Day of Spring blend, or a New Year’s Day blend, a Superbowl blend, or whatever, so people can buy pre-rolls of these blends for special occasions.

Photo courtesy of Lowell Herb Co.

So she was like, “Let’s do a Coachella blend and a crown to go with it.” So we all got together on the farm and we figured out how to make them, and we had our growers and smokers—let’s be honest, they do both—come up with a blend that they thought would be fun for listening to music at a big festival.

So this cannabis crown is basically an evolution of a now-ubiquitous Coachella accessory, the flower crown.
Yes, [our publicist] goes all the time and she’s going this year, and she was like, “This is what I want to bring for me and my friends.” And we were like, “Let’s do it.” We’re a pretty small company and we don’t plan things that far in advance, so we were just like, “Let’s get together this weekend and try to make this.” We thought maybe it would just be for her and her friends, but it caught on and other people were interested, so we made enough so other people could buy it.

What exactly is this “Coachella blend”?
We selected a group of strains that the farmers and the other creative people who work on the farm thought would work well for listening to music, but wouldn’t induce any kind of anxiety when you’re around big crowds of people.

[The farmers] talked about, and I would agree, that sometimes when you smoke and you’re in a crowd of people, you get anxiety and you want to go hide in your room. That’s not going to be a possibility at Coachella, and so they tried to take some hybrid strains that can make you a little more outgoing, or that calm your anxiety, and they blended them with strains that are a sensory-enhancer and are good for listening to a record or watching a visual performance of some kind.

They also picked strains, that they grew, that had an association with what you think of when you think of Coachella. The strains they picked were Dog-Walker, Single White Girl, Chocolate Hashberry, and Lenny OG. So those four strains make up the Coachella blend.

Photo courtesy of Lowell Herb Co.

What kind of music is best when you’re smoking this Coachella blend?
I would say something that has some depth to it, that has texture and levels. In my experience, sometimes you get something out of a record when you’re sober; and then when you’re really high you’ll hear more depth or get deeper into it and appreciate some of the other levels that are going on.

What’s the perfect high for a festival like Coachella?
I’d say euphoric, calming, and sensory-enhancing.

Who are your all-time favorite stoner musicians?
Me, personally, I’m kind of old [laughs]. I would say that I probably would go with Postal Service, who I really liked to listen to, and I guess I still do, when I get high. The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is another good one.

Do you think music sounds better when you’re high?
I think you get a different appreciation for it. Because music can just be the background noise in your life, but if you really want to get into a record, like delve into it, I think sometimes if you get high it allows you to tune out the world and really appreciate something.

How do you smoke during a festival so you can stay perfectly high all day without getting faded by the time the headliner plays?
Oh man, I don’t know if I have the answer to that. I would probably blow it [laughs]. I’d probably fall asleep before the headliner came on. I always smoke too much and then have to go home and go to sleep. Everyone has their own tolerance, right? There are some girls who work at my farm who can smoke all day and they’re just motivated, they’re working hard on the farm all day and they never slow down. Then there are people like me, like in the mid-afternoon, if I smoke a joint, I’m useless for the rest of the day. So it’s hard to say.

You have to know your own tolerance, you’ve got to know how cannabis affects you, and maybe just stick with more uplifting things. Indicas [a type of cannabis strain which is typically more physically sedating compared to more stimulating sativas] can be a real outing-killer; they’re better for when you just want to stay in for the night and chill and watch a movie, go to sleep early and get some rest.

Do you foresee a future when weed is legal at music festivals?
Absolutely, I 100-percent do. It’s ridiculous to me that alcohol is available for sale at basically every public event that we do, even events that are mainly for children, and sporting events—there’s alcohol served everywhere. But that cannabis is unavailable in all these places, and that people are forced to hit their vape pens in the bathrooms or go outside and sneak one real quick, it seems ridiculous to me. But we’re getting there.

Colorado is the first state to allow you to use cannabis in establishments, and I can’t imagine California’s going to be far behind. I’m really hoping that the day that cannabis is treated more like alcohol in all parts of American society and life comes soon.

So far, you’ve got weed bouquets and weed crowns… what’s next?
I guess we could try to do a cannabis dragon for the premiere of Game of Thrones… None of what we’ve done has really been well-planned or researched promotions. We were just like, ‘Hey, this is a cool thing we could do,’ and then a bunch of people had interest in it. 

We’re a flower-only company, which means we don’t really do edibles or concentrates or anything like that; we just sell fresh cannabis. So that kind of limits us. Maybe a Christmas wreath could be our next one.

A cannabis Christmas wreath!
We’re for sure going to do a Christmas blend. It’s Christmas Eve, it’s cold outside and you’ve got a fire going; you want to have a special Christmas blend to go with your eggnog. So maybe a Christmas wreath to go along with that.

The THUMP Guide to Coachella's Best Parties

With just three days to go until kick-off, Coachella seems so close, yet so far. The popular Southern California festival returns to its longtime stomping grounds at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio for two back-to-back weekends (April 14–16 and 21–23), each offering three days of music, people-watching, flower crowns, and Spicy Pie pizza.

Looking past the lineup’s massive headliners—Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, and Lady Gaga—the electronic-music roster is possibly the biggest it’s been in recent years, whether you’re heading out to rage your eyes out with Martin Garrix, Marshmello, and DJ Snake; or enter the void with Ben UFO, Moderat, and Nicolas Jaar. Such a heavy, star-studded lineup, of course, is reflected in the festival’s GA price tag: $399, plus an extra $75 or $113 for a shuttle and camping pass, respectively, on top of food, drinks, Uber… you get the idea.

For those who still want to enjoy the Coachella atmosphere without breaking the bank—or festival-goers who want to keep the music going all night—here are nine alternative party options outside of the official event. 

1. Young Turks in Palm Springs

When: Thursday, April 13
Where: Palm Springs Air Museum

A showcase from XL Recordings imprint Young Turks is about as close as you can get to enjoying the dance music-dedicated Yuma tent at Coachella. Festival acts such as Ben UFO, Four Tet, Francis & the Lights, Sampha, and PNL are billed for the evening showcase, along with Jamie xx and Kamaiyah. Such an intriguing lineup is only enhanced by its unconventional location, the Palm Springs Air Museum, where you’ll see the night’s performers flanked by impressive vintage war planes in a 20,000 square-foot airplane hangar. Better yet, it’s on a Thursday, which means it’s the perfect pre-party for festivalgoers.

2. Little Dragon & Sofi Tukker

When: Thursday, April 13
Where: Pappy & Harriet’s

Just an hour outside of Coachella is the unincorporated community of Pioneertown. Modeled after an 1870s-era frontier town, the area was a popular spot for filming western movies and is currently home to Pappy & Harriet’s, an intimate bar and concert venue. Along with Grammy-nominated breakout duo Sofi Tukker, Swedish electronic band Little Dragon is due to perform in its outdoor area, giving the crowd a preview of their new album, Season High (out the next day), against a breathtaking backdrop of desert mountains.

3. Desert Gold featuring NTS Radio

When: April 14–16
Where: Ace Hotel & Swim Club

If you’re staying at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs for Coachella, you’re in luck, because you’re basically getting two events for the price of one. Event series Desert Gold is back for another round of parties spanning both festival weekends for hotel guests and ticket-holders. However, it’s only during the first weekend that you’ll be able to catch some sun and mix sessions with new SoCal transplant NTS Radio, the London-based station which expanded to Los Angeles last year. There’s no lineup or schedule yet, but who can pass up a live broadcast while poolside on a sunny Saturday afternoon?

4. Rhonda: Queen of the Desert

When: Friday, April 14
Where: Palm Springs Air Museum

Wherever Rhonda goes, it’s bound to be a wild time. LA party staple A Club Called Rhonda are—we imagine—packing their highest heels, throwing the top down on their car, and hightailing it to the desert. Friday night, they’re staging a house and techno takeover at the Palms Springs Air Museum with Dixon and Solomun. The Innervisions and Diynamic bosses, respectively, will be going back-to-back after Sublevel boss Doc Martin warms the floor. Bring your sexiest goggles and warmest faux shearling jackets, and prepare for takeoff.

5. Day Club Palm Springs 

When: April 14–16 and 21–23
Where: Hilton Palm Springs

If you’re heading to Indio with friends who all have varying taste levels in dance music (we all have that one friend we’d never trust with the aux cord), Day Club Palm Springs offers a little something for everybody, from the main-stage rail rider to the house and techno aficionado. Each of Day Club’s six day-parties will feature a different headliner and curator, with the first weekend hosting Nicky Romero; Skrillex and the OWSLA crew; and LA’s Sound Nightclub, who pull in a Yuma-worthy lineup including The Martinez Brothers, Sasha b2b Hot Since 82, Maya Jane Coles, and Lauren Lane. Weekend two pumps up the volume with Mad Decent, Madeon, and Dillon Francis.

6. The Prescription Pool Party

When: Saturday, April 15
Where: The Saguaro Palm Springs

Nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon? Los Angeles-based artist Dr. Fresch is here to cure your boredom blues. The purveyor of what he describes as “future ghetto” is taking his Prescription mix series to the vibrant-toned Saguaro hotel for the first-ever Prescription party. Joining in on the poolside festivities are Hotel Garuda, Point Point, and a surprise special guest.

7. Midnight Lovers

When: Saturday, April 15
Where: TBA

If after a day of poolside drinking or Polo-field frolicking you’re too riled up to call it a night, ring in the witching hour with Midnight Lovers. The LA-based promoter is bringing out Beats in Space boss Tim Sweeney for some late-night/early-morning selections, along with Eddie C, Shiny Objects, and Masha. Hope you don’t have any early brunch plans on Sunday, because this one’s going all the way until sunrise.

8. Nicolas Jaar with Floating Points (live) and Pond

When: Monday, April 17
Where: Pappy & Harriet’s (outside)

It can be a struggle going back to real life after a crazy Coachella weekend, but a night in Pioneertown can help stretch the vacation for one more night. Nicolas Jaar, Floating Points (live), and Australian band Pond will be performing at Pappy & Harriet’s between the two festivals, making for an event bubbling with psychedelic sounds.

9. Bears in Space Palm Springs

When: April 22–23
Where: Ace Hotel & Swim Club

LA-based collective Bears in Space heads to Palm Springs for weekend two of Desert Gold. On Saturday night (April 22), they welcome Eric Duncan (aka Dr. Dunks, and also one-half of Rub-N-Tug) and DJ/dublab host Heidi Lawden on headlining duties, along with residents Chris Bowen and Victor Rodriguez. If you find yourself having partied too hard that night, stumble on poolside with your Bloody Mary as the Bears in Space team serve sun-baked tunes to make you forget your mild hangover.

Primavera Sound Announces its Full Electronic Line-up, Featuring 62 Live Acts and DJs

Primavera Sound just announced their full roster of electronic artists, featuring 62 live acts and DJs spread across two stages. The acts will play the Primavera Bits area—a site next to the Parc del Fòrum near the seafront, which is doubling its capacity and size.

During 18 hours of daily uninterrupted programming acts as diverse as Jackmaster, Avalon Emerson, Alexis Taylor, Henrik Schwartz, Pender Street Steppers, Dixon and Ben UFO will play newly expanded areas, across the Desperados Club and Bacardi Live stages. As their titles would suggest, the Club stage will host DJs like Joy Orbison and Michael Mayer, while the Live stage will present live electronic acts like Weval or Wolfgang Voigt as GAS.

These additional acts arrive on top of the already announced bill, which boasts performances from Aphex Twin, DJ Tennis and the return of Talaboman in the main area. The festival have described their 18th instalment this summer as featuring an increased commitment to electronic music, and it’s hard to disagree. Check out the full Primavera Bits line-up below.

Find out more about Primavera Sound here.

HARD Summer Returns To Southern California In August

Photo by Calder Wilson

California dance music and hip-hop music festival HARD Summer has announced its return for 2017. As shared yesterday on social media, the weekender returns August 56 to its most recent stomping grounds at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The event will mark the HARD festival brand’s tenth anniversary. The line-up has yet to be revealed.

The festival has come a long way from its humble 2007 beginnings as a one-day event in Los Angeles, nearly 50 miles away from its current home. Even from the start, though, the HARD brand was a tastemaker, bringing up dance acts such as Dillon Francis, Dusky, Tourist, and Gesaffelstein before they exploded on the national circuit.

However, a string of drug-related deaths at the festival in recent years have plagued the brand. In 2014, 19-year-old Emily Tran died from acute intoxication of ecstasy after attending the festival, which was being held at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. The next year, when HARD Summer moved to the Pomona Fairplex, two teens died on the first day of the festival of drug intoxication. The incident spurred local lawmakers to propose a temporary ban on “raves” on county property, resulting in the formation of a regulatory committee, the Electronic Music Task Force. The Fairplex also stated that it would not allow dance-music events in 2016. Currently, lawsuits from two parents of the deceased are pending against HARD owner Live Nation.

Last year’s festival counted three total deaths, all of which were confirmed by the coroner as being MDMA-related. It sparked another attempt to ban raves; soon after, HARD announced that it would not be holding its annual Halloween-themed event, Day of the Dead, in 2016 due to “production reasons.”

As a result of these tragedies, HARD has in the last few years taken precautions to stop drug-related deaths at festivals. Working alongside the Electronic Music Task force, they implemented measures including scaling back attendance, raising the minimum attendee age from 18 to 21, adding cooling stations, increasing law enforcement and security presence, and distribution of materials warning against drug use. However, implementing measures such as drug-testing booths are nearly impossible in the US due to the R.A.V.E. Act, a 2003 bill that allows promoters to be prosecuted for “knowingly opening, maintaining,… making available for use, or profiting from any place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance,” as the presence of such services are seen as condoning illegal drug use.

Last year fellow Southern California events brand Insomniac offered on-site drug education at their Halloween festival. The booth, a partnership with harm reduction group Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), provided attendees unbiased information about drugs and mental health from trained educators.

Electric Zoo Is Bringing DJ Snake, Above & Beyond, Danny Tenaglia, And More To Randall's Island

Photo by aLIVE Coverage

Labor Day weekend means a few things ever year. You have flocks of swanky folks hobnobbing in the Hamptons, the burning of a giant wooden man in the Nevada desert, and on a grassy island in the waters of New York City, you have Electric Zoo. Set on Randall’s Island, the industry staple festival has been bringing together many of dance music’s biggest names to the Big Apple for nine straight years, and now they’re gearing up for their next go around as the city’s “6th Boro.”

The festival’s initial lineup is topped by headliners DJ Snake, trance trio Above & Beyond, and a closing tag-team performance by the pair of deadmau5 and Eric Prydz. Like years past, the organization is also teaming up with a few European club and festival institutions like Dutch techno behemoth Awakenings and Spanish party people elrow, with two stage hosts yet to be announced. Other lineup highlights include beloved NYC DJ Danny Tenaglia, a coveted b2b from Sasha and John Digweed, and OWSLA’s NGHTMRE. Check out the full phase one lineup below.