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Mike Tyson to host cannabis music festival on ranch

Former boxing heavyweight Mike Tyson will host Kind Music Festival, a celebration of cannabis and “the next generation of music festivals”, on his 420-acre ranch in Desert Hot Springs, California.

The inaugural Kind Music Festival will make its debut on Saturday 23 February. The one-day pop-up event aims to embrace cannabis as a legalised, recreational product, in line with updates to California’s cannabis regulations.

Up to ten artists will play at the event, including Miguel and Starcrawler. Food trucks, inflatable rides, a bar area and vendor village will also adorn the grounds of the future Tyson Ranch Resort, an entertainment complex and cannabis research and design facility.

General admission tickets for Kind Music Festival sell at US$85 and VIP passes for $165. Part of all proceeds will go to Standing United, a charity dedicated to helping drug addicts and the homeless.

“Kind Music Festival is a revolution, leading the way for a new generation of health and wellness-focused cannabis consumers [that we call] ‘the Kind Generation’,” says an unnamed festival producer in a launch announcement.

“If music pairs with alcohol in a way that enhances the moment, our goal is to show that cannabis products can do the same”

Smoking cannabis in public places remains illegal in California. Rules on the festival website forbid sales or giveaways of cannabis products, as well as the carrying of illegal drugs or paraphernalia. However, a publicist for the festival has stated that festivalgoers will be permitted to light up on festival grounds.

The event is one in a wave of festivals marrying marijuana and music in the United States, as more and more states legalise recreational use of the drug.

The Original Green Mountain Cannabis and Music Festival took place in West Dover, Vermont last year. 1,000 people flocked to the festival, billed as byob/c (bring your own booze/cannabis), to view live music performances, purchase cannabidiol (CBD) products and smoke cannabis in the sun.

The United States is not the only country in which weed and music are mixing formally. In Canada, large legal marijuana producers are teaming up with talent agencies to sponsor events in much the way that leading alcohol brands do. This year, Toronto’s North by Northeast festival will be presented by Aurora Cannabis.

Jay Wilgar, head of UP Cannabis, summarises the thinking: “If music pairs with alcohol in a way that enhances the moment, our goal is to show that cannabis products can do the same.”


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