There's no denying that drugs and music have always had a close relationship. For many people, using drugs is a way to enhance their musical experience, whether it's dancing all night at a club or losing themselves in an eclectic mix at a festival. However, it's worth noting that not all music fans use drugs, and many live performances are perfectly enjoyable without any chemical assistance.

Nevertheless, it's undeniable that drugs have played a major role in music history, especially when it comes to large live performances. Artists such as Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead were known for their elaborate stage shows, often designed to be experienced while under the influence of drugs.

In recent years, electronic dance music has become closely associated with drug use, with festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra becoming known as hotbeds of illicit activity.

What Are Music Concert Visuals?

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Music concerts are a visual feast for the senses, with bright lights, flashing colors, and dizzying patterns. But have you ever wondered where these visuals come from? It turns out that many of them are inspired by drug use.

For example, the trippy patterns used in concert visuals are similar to those experienced during an acid trip. And the flashing lights can mimic the effects of strobing lights on a dance floor. By creating visuals that are reminiscent of drug-induced states, concertgoers can feel like they're experiencing the music in a whole new way.

The Link Between Drugs and Music

Music and drugs have been linked together for centuries. In the early days, people commonly used psychoactive drugs to enhance their music experience. Drugs like alcohol and tobacco were used to relax and improve the taste of music. Amphetamines were also common, with rock and roll artists like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis relying on them for their wild onstage antics.

In more recent times, illegal drugs like LSD and MDMA have been used by people searching for a more intense musical experience. Some claim that these drugs can help them appreciate music in a whole new way, while others enjoy the heightened sensations and feelings of euphoria that they can produce.

Music, in turn, has always been a part of the drug culture in the United States. Many drugs, especially psychedelics, are associated with specific genres of music, such as acid house or trance. For many people, taking drugs is an integral part of the musical experience, as it can help them feel more connected to the music and other people. Drug use can also be seen as rebelling against society's norms and expectations.

Besides, many musicians have experimented with alcohol or drugs in an attempt to improve their creativity. Some believe that substances can help open up the mind and allow new ideas to flow. However, it is worth noting that many successful musicians have composed great songs without resorting to drugs or alcohol.

Music, Drug Use, and Addiction

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There's also a close link between music and substance use disorders. In some cases, people may use drugs to enhance their experience of listening to music. But in others, the connection between music and partying can lead to drug use or addiction or trigger mental disorders that cause them to turn to drugs to cope.

One of the most common drugs used at parties is MDMA, also known as "ecstasy" or "molly." MDMA is a stimulant that can cause feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and pleasure. It can also increase heart rate and blood pressure, dehydration, and anxiety.

When taken in large doses or combined with other drugs, MDMA can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Since MDMA is often used at all-night parties or nightclubs, people who use the drug may not get enough sleep, leading to fatigue, irritability, and memory problems. Long-term use of MDMA can also cause withdrawal symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.

For people struggling with addiction, the connection between drugs and music can be dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, party settings are risk factors for relapse, as they trigger cravings. At the same time, listening to music can make it harder to resist the urge to use drugs. The National Institutes on drug use research indicates that relapses are common, happening in 40-60% of the cases.

Music Concert Visuals and Drug Use

Many people who attend live music performances are using drugs. According to research by DrugAbuse.com, 57% of people admitted to using drugs or alcohol, with 93% consuming alcoholic beverages. Additionally, about 40% used marijuana at live music events, followed by 8% who used hallucinogens or MDMA (Molly or ecstasy).

Large live music performances often incorporate heavy visuals into their shows, expecting that many crowd members will be under the influence of drugs. These visuals help to:

  1. Create a more immersive experience: Heavy visuals can help create a more immersive experience for the audience, making them feel like they are part of the performance.
  2. Engage the audience: Heavy visuals can also help to engage the audience, keeping them involved in the performance.
  3. Add excitement: Heavy visuals can add excitement to a performance, making it more enjoyable for the audience.
  4. Create a memorable experience: Heavy visuals can help create a memorable experience for the audience, one they will remember long after the performance is over.

Many drugs cause users to experience sensory overload, and the introduction of visual elements can help ground them and prevent them from becoming overwhelmed.

Besides, drugs can alter perception and make it difficult to process complex information. As a result, simpler visual images are more likely to be comprehended by those under the influence. Also, bright colors and patterns can be more stimulating and enjoyable for people on drugs.

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Stay Sober Throughout the Show

Going to a live music performance can be an incredibly exhilarating experience. Whether you're seeing your favorite band or exploring a new genre, there's nothing quite like being in a room full of people who share the same love of music. But you may worry about being around others who might be using drugs. While it is true that many concerts do use heavy visuals that can be enhanced by drug use, there are ways to enjoy the show while remaining sober.

Addiction Treatment

When most people think of drug addiction, they picture someone using illegal drugs like meth or heroin over prolonged periods of time. However, addiction can happen after a few tries and involve any drugs, including legal ones like alcohol and prescription medications.

Drug use is often glamorized in the media, especially in music. Concerts, in particular, can be a breeding ground for drug use.

Many people view drug use as a harmless way to have fun and let loose. However, drug use comes with serious risks. In addition to the risk of addiction, drugs can also lead to mental and physical health problems.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, resources are available to help. Rehab facilities offer vast treatments for drug addiction, including detox, in-patient and outpatient care, and therapies. The Institutes of Health also recommends getting support from friends, family members and support groups.

Like music, rave outfits have evolved over the years. Most rave outfits do not trend for too long. Partygoers ditch them to try something new that is trendy at the time.

Rave outfits are a significant part of the rave scene. They allow partygoers to express themselves without necessarily feeling the pressure to conform to societal and cultural norms. People don’t go to raves to impress anyone. They go to have a good time and do things they can’t do in their day-to-day lives. It is no wonder that those who don’t party find the outfits somewhat nonsensical.

Raves made a debut in the mid-’80s. At the time, the rave scene was all new, so the dress code wasn’t defined. Most people who attended the 80s raves were hippies and part of traveling communities. From them, it was all about peace, love, unity. They did not pay much attention to what they wore to raves. However, most of them wore lots of makeup, had big hair, and had extravagant outfits.

In the early 90s, people started paying more attention to their rave outfits, and a dress code developed. Most people wore similar outfits to fit in the rave scene. The dress code changed frequently as the years went by. Today, it is unlikely that you will see anyone showing off midriffs or donning phat pants that were go-to outfits in the early 90s. Instead, they wear more revealing outfits.

This article will discuss how festival fashion has changed with time. We will look at rave outfits in the early 90s, late 90s to early 2000s, mid 200s to late 2000s, and today’s rave outfits. Let’s dive in.

The early 90s 

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Raves started gaining popularity in the early 90s when rave music somehow found its way to mainstream music. Note that the rave scene was still disorganized during this time, and most parties were held outside.

Those going to raves wanted to seem friendly, fun, and happy. Therefore, they opted for brightly-colored clothes.

Most festival outfits in the early 90s were functional. Sometimes, the outfits included hydration packs. Other than comfortable outfits, everyone opted for comfortable shoes. It was not unusual to see people donning brightly colored tie dye t-shirts paired with comfortable pants heading to a rave festival.

Neon colors were also the go-to option at the time. Wearing revealing clothes was not an option since most music festivals were held in the open.

With time, raves became more organized. Ecstasy also became more popular when partygoers discovered the euphoric feeling it gives them. The ecstasy combined with sophisticated light and sound encouraged people to try psychedelic outfits like boiler suits.

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Boiler suits gained popularity when PA’s like Dye Witness and Altern-8  wore them during their sets. Their fans copied their style, and in no time, they wore them to every rave. Reportedly, the masks partygoers wore at the time were full of menthol substances that helped them enhance the effects of illegal drugs they took at the event, including MDMA, LSD, mushrooms or whippets.

The late 90s to early 2000s 

In the 2000s, most people shifted to wilder looks and outfits. Rave fashion featured string vests, fluffy boots, neon tank tops, hair bands, whistles, and Day-Glo paints. Like the early 90s, they preferred bright colors as opposed to dull ones.

Both boys and girls went to raves to be seen. The boys saw it as an opportunity to express themselves, and the girls wanted to look attractive.

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In the early 2000s, people also embraced cyber wear, which featured dummies (pacifiers and lollipops) and glow sticks. Dummies reportedly prevented people who had taken ecstasy from grinding their teeth, while glow sticks improved the rave experience.

The mid-2000s to late 200Os 

Generally, people toned down their outfits in the mid to late 2000s. The main reason for this is that raves happened more often, almost every weekend, and everyone wanted to be comfortable on the dance floor. Additionally, most festivals, including every EDM festival, were held in clubs instead of open fields.

Rave wear in the mid to late 2000s mainly was streetwear, which means people wore what they would typically wear on the streets. Jeans, hoodies, trainers, and tracksuits became common in the rave scene.

Streetwear became popular because partygoers were mainly from the new generation, and modern fashion styles and street styles greatly influenced them.

Today’s rave outfits

Today, people wear whatever they want when going to raves. It is unlikely that you’d see anyone wearing neon outfits, fluffy boots, tank tops, string vests, and other rave wear that people used to wear in the past.

Like the other years, people go to raves to have fun. Therefore, they try to express themselves with what they wear based on the music and artists they love.

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Hopefully, you'll remember to drink lots of water if you dress up like this!

You may also notice that the rave clothing people wear while going to clubs is different from what they wear while going to festivals. Most times, festivals are held outdoors during summer, so people don’t dress up much. For festival clothing during summer, girls prefer wearing bikini tops or a crop top paired with booty shorts and a pair of sneakers, while the boys wear shorts.

There are a few instances when people try to mimic old rave gear by wearing bright-colored outfits and accessories, especially during festivals when they want to express themselves. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are re-embracing the old rave outfits.

Fashion trends in the EDM community

The EDM community has always had a unique fashion sense. Currently, kandi culture is trending.

A few years back, members of the EDM community mostly wore tulle and neon-colored outfits. Today, they have embraced earthy and pastel colors. The girls mostly wear micro shorts and micro skirts that have cutouts.

Festival wear in this community also comprises samba bras, plunge bras, pasties, sheer tops, and halters. The most common prints are psychedelic prints, aliens, holograms, and mermaids.

Conclusion

As discussed, rave outfits are constantly evolving. The only thing that remains constant is the ability of rave goers to express themselves and feel empowered by their outfits.

Trends change constantly, but the best thing about rave fashion is that you can wear whatever you want without feeling the pressure to fit in because you are free to express yourself in whatever way.

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The relationship between drugs and music goes way back in history. Several historic hymns sung by sailors glamorize drinking alcohol and other contentious activities.

Most people started paying attention to the relationship between music and drugs in the 1930s when jazz musicians based in the United States started allowing their fans to take the music they loved home with them.

Since people had ample time to listen to music, they started noticing how musicians refer to drugs in their songs. Consequently, they started having discussions on the same.

In the 1970s, U.S. President Richard Nixon launched a controversial campaign dubbed 'war on drugs' after parents raised concerns that musicians referred to every kind of illicit drug in their music and encouraged listeners to use them.

Listening to music is an enjoyable pastime for most people. You can easily access free music on various apps. Music stimulates the auditory cortex, the part of the brain responsible for music. It is known to improve one’s mood, reduce anxiety, ease pain, reduce depression, and make one more alert, among several other benefits.

Different genres of music have been associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Most modern musicians, including Kottonmouth Kings, Jay-Z, Tech N9ne, and Eminem, refer to drug use in their lyrics. Since several musicians refer to drugs in different types of music, there are concerns that famous artists who have produced popular music, and other genres might contribute to the rising addiction rates.

In this article, we will discuss the music genres that have been associated with drug use over the years. Let's dive in.

Jazz


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For the longest time, jazz music and jazz musicians have been linked to drug abuse. Between the 1940s and 1950s, drug abuse in the jazz community was at an ultimate high. Despite other economic and social factors that influenced it, most people in the jazz community accepted narcotic use.

At the time, jazz musicians who were addicted justified cocaine, morphine, and heroin use. They claimed that they used drugs to enhance their performance and creativity. Renowned jazz musicians like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Chet Baker used narcotics right before their performances.

Drug use prematurely ended or sidetracked the careers of some talented jazz musicians. Charlie Parker's drug use  is well documented. He battled heroin addiction, alcoholism, liver cirrhosis, ulcers, debt, mental illness, suicide attempts, and broken marriages throughout his adult life.

Most people blamed Parker for causing widespread heroin addiction & mental health issues among jazz musicians. Parker eventually died in 1955 due to the long-term effects of drug abuse. 

Some jazz musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, and Clifford Brown avoided narcotic use despite people associating jazz with it. They tried to set a good example for others.

Rock & Roll 


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Most people tend to closely associate rock and roll music with substance abuse. Many rock n roll hits have drug references, and a few musicians have had to check into rehab to battle addiction. This trend has been ongoing for several decades.

Note that a good number of successful rock 'n' roll musicians don't live long, prosperous lives. The reason is that for many, substance abuse defines their lifestyle. They use illicit drugs while recording hits, before live performances, and during shows.

Rock 'n' roll musicians who abuse drugs claim that the drugs help them improve their performances and numb pain. Unfortunately, they have to deal with dire consequences later on.

Jimi Hendrix , a renowned guitarist in music history, also ended up having complications as a result of drug use. In 1970, Hendrix confessed that he had abused LSD, cocaine, and marijuana. On 18th September 1970, he overdosed on barbiturates and died of complications resulting from the overdose. His music career and his life were cut short.

Rap


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Most talented hip-hop artists grew up in low-income areas where drug use is prevalent. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of them make drug references in their music, sometimes in positive ways. A study revealed that drug references in rap music increased from 11% to 19% in two decades.

Several decades ago, most rappers only referred to alcohol and ‘having a good time’ in their music. However, when Schooly D  joined the industry, he romanticized drug use, a criminal lifestyle, and prostituting women.

Since he was very influential, other rappers also started incorporating drug references in their lyrics. Most rappers mentioned marijuana in their music, but a few mentioned other hard drugs. Consequently, drug use quickly spread throughout the rap community.

A few musicians like Eminem and Afroman attempted to address the negative impacts of drug use on musicians’ lives. Additionally, the rap community in general acknowledged the negative impact of drugs after promising rappers like Mac Miller started dying due to overdoses.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM)


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Electronic dance music gained popularity in the mid-1990s. It is a diverse music culture that attracts people from all walks of life. Most people claim that there is a spiritual aspect to EDM, hence the need to use drugs. 

EDM lovers like communal dance parties, music festivals, and raves. The EDM pulsing beat, colored lights, and fans in a prolonged state of euphoria rubbing against each other typically describe what EDM concerts are like.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is the drug of choice among EDM musicians and fans. Some also use amphetamine. Both drugs complement the repetitive, fast music. Additionally, they give users feelings of pleasure through dance and movement. 

Lindsay Lohan, an actress formally known for partying and her love for EDM, recently acknowledged that EDM concerts always left her feeling burned out because she used pills and cocaine.

Conclusion

In general, music allows artists to express themselves and talk about their troubles, and drug abuse seems to be one of the issues they struggle with. Lately, musicians have become vocal about issues related to drug use.

Whether or not music plays a role in encouraging drug addiction is still a controversial debate. However, there is no doubt that specific genres of music are related to drug use.

If you are struggling with an addiction  you should consider seeking medical advice and treatment.  Drug abuse has adverse effects and can potentially take a toll on your health. Seek help before it’s too late.

Struggling With Addiction 2020 © All Rights Reserved
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