The promoter of the canceled Pretty Lights and Above & Beyond shows, NV Concepts, just released this official statement in response to UMASS Amherst‘s decision to ban EDM events from their campus:
NV Concepts Responds to UMASS Amherst Concert Cancellations
Third Electronic Dance Music Concert Canceled Over “Molly” Concerns
Holyoke, MA – Event production and promotion company, NV Concepts received word the morning of September 26th two more electronic dance music shows scheduled for this October at UMASS Amherst’s Mullins Center have been canceled and the administration is citing the drug, “Molly” as the reason. NV Concepts issues the following statement in response.
We at NV Concepts are disappointed in the University of Massachusetts administration’s decision to cancel the semester’s remaining electronic dance music concerts, Above & Beyond (10/04/2013) and Pretty Lights (10/30/2013). The decision’s impact goes beyond substantial financial loss to the great disappointment of UMASS students and fans throughout the region of both of these artists. While this was not a decision made by NV Concepts, we do extend to the students and EDM fans our sincerest apologies for yet another lost opportunity to enjoy the music that you love. We share in your disappointment. Please know that we are making every effort to relocate these shows and look forward to announcing the alternate venues. We continue, through various means, to promote the safety of our concert goers and seek to be an educational resource in the prevention of substance abuse. Therefore, we view these cancellations as a lost opportunity to collaborate with UMASS on this important effort.
We maintain a zero tolerance substance abuse policy. We always put first the safety of our concert goers and make every effort to ensure the venues we work with provide a safe environment as well. We continue to develop new measures to provide a concert environment that is both safe and fun. to this end, in addition to our long standing zero tolerance policy, we have developed a comprehensive plan to address growing concerns about safety and promote the healthy enjoyment of the musical experience. Our plan includes three pillars:
1 – Communication
Through our website, venue signage and literature made available at shows, we will effectively communicate the dangers of substance abuse and share how concert-goers can make good choices and care best for themselves and others.
2 – Venue Support
The NV Concepts TRACK Team, working in collaboration with each venue, will consist of sober volunteers dedicated to helping concert goers stay happy, healthy and hydrated throughout the event. They will be trained to identify signs of physical distress and assist concert goers in meeting hydration needs and seeking medical attention when necessary. Free water will also be provided at venues.
3 – Key Partnerships and Education
Partnering with organizations that promote sobriety and abstinence, we will co-create programs tailored to the electronic dance music community intended to raise awareness and emphasize a message of abstinence from the use of illegal substances. Additionally, NV Concepts is currently laying the groundwork for the establishment of Stay on TRACK, a 501c3 organization dedicated to drug education and awareness specifically in relation to the electronic dance music (EDM) industry. It is our goal that these efforts will set the bar nationally for all facets of the EDM community and serve as a resource for this industry and its fans.
“Although UMASS has chosen not to collaborate with us on providing a positive experience for its students and other fans in the region, we do look forward to working with venues that share our mission and those professionals who understand that electronic dance music, its fans, and artists are not to blame for the tragedies brought on by individual choices. Music is our passion and will continue to be the focus of the business we love.” – Tim Bonito, NV Concepts Founder, UMASS, ‘99
About NV Concepts
Massachusetts-based NV Concepts was founded in 2008 by Tim Bonito and Richard Hutchinson. An event production, promotions, and talent buying company, NV Concepts operates nationwide specializing in electronic dance music. Their arena level events have featured such artists such as Tiesto, deadmau5, Skrillex and many of the world’s biggest DJ’s. NV Concepts prides itself on delivering the best possible fan experience taking into account the difference electronic dance music makes in people’s lives and how it resonates within every person that attends a show.
Instead of getting demoralized after having three of their events cancelled by the administration at UMASS, NV Concepts is turning this unfortunate situation into something positive by using it as an opportunity to help the scene move forward through the promotion of education and harm reduction. It’s great to see a promoter taking the initiative to provide concertgoers with free water and drug education pamphlets at shows, which should really be standard at all EDM events no matter how big or small; NV Concepts is proving to be an industry leader in this regard and we hope other promoters/venues will follow suit.
Students at UMASS have responded to the cancellations by not only petitioning the administration to bring EDM back, but also agreeing to abstain from using illegal drugs:
The voices of the UMASS Student Body need to be heard! By signing this petition, we are agreeing that we are against taking drugs such as “Molly” and we believe that the EDM Artists, Concerts, etc. should not be banned from UMASS Amherst Campus.
The petition, which you can sign HERE, has only been up for a day already has over 500 signatures! Another petition you can find HERE is calling for UMASS to change the way they’re approaching the situation by focusing on “Drug Prevention to Harm Reduction” to help students make good decisions rather than banning all EDM events outright.
How do you feel about the way that NV Concepts and the students at UMASS have responded to this situation?
Let us know in the comments.