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Drinking and Drug Use at Music Festivals

Music festivals are an increasingly popular trend throughout the United States, with events taking place year-round and throughout the country. No matter one’s music genre preference there are bound to be a number of festivals that offer up artists in that category. However, music festivals are also notoriously known as a place for individuals to use addictive substances.

With that in mind, we decided to take a closer look at music festival drug use statistics. We ran an anonymous survey of American individuals who have attended a music festival, and asked them questions about drugs they used, drugs they saw others use, the use of alcohol, and the circumstances around these events. We broke these findings down by gender, music genre preference, and more. The study included 500 respondents.

We found that while not all music festival-goers use drugs and alcohol, nearly all of them have seen one of these substances used by someone else. Read on for all of our findings.

Table of Contents

How Many Music Festival-Goers Use Drugs and Alcohol
The Drugs Music Festival-Goers Use and See Others Use
How Much Money Festival-Goers Spend on Food, Alcohol, and Drugs
How Many Music Festival-Goers Sneak in Drugs and Alcohol
The Consequences of Getting Caught with Drugs at a Music Festival
Negative Effects of Drug and Alcohol Use Experienced and Seen Experienced
How Many Music Festival-Goers Hook-Up While Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol
Source and Crediting

How Many Music Festival-Goers Use Drugs and Alcohol?

The number of music festival attendees that use drugs and alcohol -

First, we wanted to see how many music festival attendees actually use drugs or alcohol. It turns out that 81% of them use drugs and/or alcohol. Of these, 71% drink some amount of alcohol, 22% drink to the point of being drunk, and 43% use drugs. Men are about 15% more likely than women to use drugs, and are about the same when it comes to alcohol use. Fans of EDM/electronic music are the most likely to use drugs by a notable margin.

Which Drugs Do Music Festival-Goers Use and See Others Use?

The drugs that music festival attendees use and see others use -

Next, we looked at the types of drugs that are used at music festivals. The most common by far is marijuana — 37% use it, and 75% have seen someone else using it. Cocaine (27%), MDMA/ecstasy (27%), and mushrooms (24%) are also commonly seen used by another festival-goers, while only 18% of attendees will see no drugs used by others whatsoever.

How Much Money Do Festival-Goers Spend on Food, Alcohol, and Drugs?

The amount of money spent on food, alcohol, and drugs at music festivals -

We also wanted to see how spending compared for food, alcohol, and drugs. It turns out that the patterns are similar across these three categories. 46% of festival attendees spend $61 or more on food for the festival, which is nearly the same for those who spend $61 or more on drugs (45%). 1 in 5 festival-goers who purchase drugs spend over $100 on them.

How Many Music Festival-Goers Sneak in Drugs and Alcohol?

The number of music festival attendees that sneak alcohol and drugs into the festival -

Next, we looked at how common it is for people to sneak drugs and alcohol into music festivals. Overall, 26% sneak drugs in and 31% sneak alcohol in, while 63% have seen someone else sneaking in drugs and/or alcohol. It’s most common for attendees of Firefly Music Festival in Delaware to sneak substances in, and understandably it’s also where individuals are most likely to see others try to do so.

The Consequences of Getting Caught with Drugs at A Music Festival

The consequences of getting caught with drugs at a music festival -

While drug use might be somewhat common in music festival environments, it’s certainly not allowed by the event organizers. Nearly 1 in 4 festival attendees will get caught with drugs by the organizers. Of those who are caught, 61% have their substances confiscated, 44% receive criminal charges, and over 1 in 3 will lose their ticket for at least part of the event.

What Negative Effects of Drug and Alcohol Use Do Festival-Goers Experience and See Others Experience?

The negative effects of using drugs or alcohol at a music festival -

The use of substances is prohibited for a reason — they’re unsafe and can cause bodily harm. 59% of festival-goers experience some type of symptoms as a result of drug or alcohol use, the most common of which are dehydration (33%) and fatigue (28%). 76% have seen someone else experiencing a negative effect of use, and the most common is passing out (54%).

How Many Music Festival-Goers Hook-Up While Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol?

The number of music festival attendees that hook-up while intoxicated -

Finally, we looked at how many people “hook-up” as a result of being under the influence. Over 1 in 6 festival goers do so, and men are 1.9 times more likely to than women. The rate of this happening is much higher in certain environments, particularly at Lollapalooza in Illinois (23%), and among fans of EDM/electronic music (23%).

Music festivals are meant to be a fun experience, but substance use is no laughing matter. If you’re concerned about your own habits or those of someone you know, learn more about the warning signs of substance abuse. You can also learn more about how we can help.



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