Cite this article

NIDA. (2013, July 9). Summer Music Festivals: More About Partying Than Music?. Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
July 9 2013
A crowd of people at a concert

Summer music festivals like Bonnaroo, Coachella, or Country USA offer a great chance to hear live music, hang out with friends, and enjoy a fun scene. Outdoor festivals draw thousands of people from across the country for multiday events featuring dozens of shows. The festivals include food, activities like art projects and silent discos, and several stages for musical acts.

But the music festival environment may encourage festival goers to act in ways they might not otherwise. A poll from MSN UK asked 2,000 summer music festival goers about why they attended and how they acted:

  • 47% confessed to doing something at a music festival that they would “never consider doing outside of the music festival environment.”
  • 21% reported using illegal drugs while at the festival.
  • Only 45% said they attended the festivals to listen to the music.

The truth is, you don’t need drugs and alcohol to enjoy a musical festival. Some people even find that music itself provides a natural high.

Why Stay Drug Free at Festivals?

You want to preserve your memories. Summer music festivals are an amazing way to see your favorite artists, discover new bands, and meet new people. Drugs can cause memory loss and alter your perception of events.

Drugs affect your thinking and decisions. When you’re around thousands of strangers, you want your mind to be clear and focused so you can stick with friends and stay safe.

Drugs have side effects. They can raise your heart rate, make you dizzy, make you sweat or give you chills, and cause other side effects. In a hot, crowded environment, you want to feel your best.

Though some music stars make music festivals seem to be all about alcohol and drugs, people who go to music festivals don’t need to use drugs or alcohol to have fun. Get a good group of friends together, find out where your favorite bands are playing, and enjoy the live music experience. 

Tell us: How do you have fun at music festivals or concerts without using drugs or alcohol?