It’s safe to say that festivals and
drugs intoxicating substances go hand in hand. (Wait, is alcohol a drug?) Yep, okay, then festivals and drugs definitely go together. The scent of weed and the sight of trippy dance moves are commonplace at these excitement-packed weekend affairs.
We wanted to know more about how many people at festivals were actually doing drugs, what sort of drugs they were partaking of, and which festivals were known for which drugs. So instead of just whispering to our stoner jam band friends, we did some research and went straight to the source: Festivalgoers.
TickPick conducted a survey on The Most Used Festival Drugs and published our results. And our little survey kind of went viral. It’s been featured on TimeOut, Alternet, the Miami New Times, Digital Music News, and lots more. And just to show you that the cool kids are totally picking up what we’re putting down, Bro Bible and Total Frat Move republished our findings too.
Who Took Our Survey?
There were 1,015 participants in our survey, each of whom had attended at least one of the music festivals we asked about. As far as demographics go, our respondents were 47.8% male and 52.2% female with an age range of 18 to 74 (party on, old man… or lady!) with an average age of 32.4 years old.
All information was collected based on self-reporting, which means we trusted them not to make things up (like your friend who brags about how high he got last night but doesn’t know the difference between weed and oregano). It’s impossible to check their stories, so we’re relying on the data they provided.
So… What’s the Most Popular Festival Drug?
Duh, it’s booze. The only legal way of getting f’d up is still the most popular… by a long shot. A total of 75.5% of people surveyed reported drinking at a music festival. It’s pretty unsurprising, but it does show that the majority of people at music festivals are definitely on something.
Marijuana is an obvious choice for second place, coming in at 38.8%. People at music festivals smoke weed almost three times as much as they use any other drug (other than alcohol). And even though Coachella reaffirmed that it was marijuana-free this year (*cough* yeah right *cough*) despite its legality in California, it’s clear lots of festivalgoers still found a way to smoke the devil’s lettuce.
Drugs like Molly, Ecstasy, and MDMA come in a solid third place at 13%. Blame that darn electronic music! Mushrooms were next, followed by LSD, and then cocaine. A much smaller portion of festivalgoers said they’d partaken in opioids and DMT (a powerful psychedelic). Then were was a whole 2.7% who mentioned “other drugs.” Whatever could those be?
Maybe that includes those mystery pills that guy in tie-dye sold your buddy? We don’t know…
VIP vs. General Admission
Another interesting tidbit: It looks like VIP festivalgoers do more drugs but drink less alcohol than the general admission crowd. This only brings us to more questions…
Perhaps the VIP crowd that purchases those pricier tickets also has more money to buy the drugs of their choosing? Maybe the rich kids bring in more drugs? Or maybe the drug preferences of VIP and general admission guests just differ? (VIPs are doing more than double the amount of cocaine.) We’re not sure, but one way or another, the VIP crowd reports doing significantly more drugs than the general admission folks. Well, except in one arena: opioids.
Which Drugs at Which Festivals?
Alcohol and marijuana make the top of the list at every festival we surveyed. However, there are some standout comments about other drugs that we should make. Those EDM-based festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas and Ultra in Miami were big on the Molly, Ecstasy, and MDMA. They also reported the highest use of cocaine at around 10% (which may or may not have something to do with their locations).
Burning Man must be one hell of a crazy party though, because it ranks highly for drug use in almost every category – weed, molly, acid, shrooms, opioids, DMT… and even “other.” Our experts reckon that’s because of the “gift economy” in place at the festival, where everything – including food, supplies, and drugs – is shared freely without any sort of cash exchanged. Even though Nevada legalized weed, the festival organizers state that it’s not allowed… though that doesn’t seem to be bothering any of the burners out on the Playa. (What? You don’t know the lingo?)
The biggest drinkers include SXSW, Bonnaroo, and Ultra, while the biggest weed-smokers were found at Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Burning Man.
Be Safe Out There, Guys
No lectures here. We just wanted to let you know that while drugs might be a huge part of the festival experience, NOT everybody is doing them. You do you.
If you’re going to partake, be safe. Don’t miss out on a great experience because you’re too f’d up to take it all in. Stay hydrated and don’t forget to eat and sleep. Keep an eye on your friends… and yourself. And be careful when it comes to those unidentified pills that sketchy guy is pushing. Seriously.
Read our whole Survey on The Most Used Festival Drugs to hear everything we uncovered.
Need festival tickets? We got ‘em. And we’ve got them at the cheapest prices online with no fees… ever. Check out TickPick’s selection of music festival tickets.