A study from the University of Miami found that the thudding bass—so great for doing molly and dancing for hours in a tiny circle, I guess—from a massive outdoor EDM festival caused a “significant stress response” in fish inhabiting the site’s nearby waters.
According to Pitchfork, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has an experimental hatchery on Virginia Key, the island near where Ultra Music Festival was held in March. During the festival, researchers there conducted tests on the hatchery’s toadfish, and also monitored decibel levels in their tanks and the surrounding waters. The results were not great:
On May 6, the university issued their first official findings, stating that the high volume levels caused toadfish to experience a “4-to-5-fold increase in blood cortisol, their main stress hormone, during the first night of the Ultra Music Festival.”
“The stress response was higher than what would be experienced when being chased by a simulated predator and similar to when hearing bottlenose dolphins, a toadfish predator,” said Danielle McDonald, professor of marine biology and ecology at the UM Rosenstiel School, in a statement.
While more studies will need to be conducted to gauge the long-term impact Ultra had on the wild fish population surrounding Virginia Key, humans who weren’t ticket holders were decidedly not pleased by the noise and garbage that accompanied it. Thus, the festival has announced it’s leaving the site, and will find a new, hopefully less destructive home in 2020.