This report explains why music sounds so much better when you’re high.  

Since the reverent Woodstock era, drugs and music festivals, much like sex and psychedelia at these festivals, have been intermingled. Live music has a great reputation for being the hub of substance abuse and intoxicant, making music festivals the amongst largest markets of substance abuse.

“Music sort of activates the same pathways in the brain that are responsible for pleasure,” says Dr. Doris Payer, a neuroscientist who works with The Beckley Foundation, an Oxford-based think tank that develops alternative drug policies based on scientific drug research.

Ina recent report, Katie Bain, the Senior Editor of Beatport magazine, goes into the depths of what these drugs do to our brain, and the triggers involved in the resulting euphoria good music provides.

“MDMA, scientifically known as “3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine,” is the longstanding drug of choice in the dance music community, and works by affecting levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters are altogether responsible for emotion, memory, motivation, and feelings of being aroused and hyper. Taking ecstasy, molly, moon rocks, sassafras or any other MDMA-containing substance causes a spike in these brain chemicals (a more complex explanation of this process is available via harm reduction organization DanceSafe), thus increasing positive feelings like happiness, connection, love, confidence, and serenity.” – Katie Bain

You can read the full report here. This, to some extent, explains the complicated relationship between drugs and music festivals. It does not, however, imply that drugs are necessary to achieve a fantastic music festival experience. Live music can be enjoyed thoroughly without intoxicants. Keep tabs here for more news, folks.