Drugs at music festivals

At this time of year our news feeds contain tales of revellers who have become seriously unwell or even died following the use of drugs at music festivals.  The festivals have a number of measures to try and protect the wellbeing of festival-goers from the harms associated with drug misuse.


Festivals employ security staff as well as the Police being on-site to keep attendees safe.  The security staff may be involved in searching individuals as they enter the festivals site.  If any drugs are found they will be confiscated.   Individuals found with drugs may be refused entry to the festival.  Police also attend some festivals with drug dogs to detect anything that may be taken in.

Amnesty Bins

In many festivals drug amnesty bins are placed at the entrance in a similar way to many nightclubs. This gives those entering and opportunity to dispose of their drugs before they go into the festival, with the aim that drugs do not find their way into the festival.

Harm reduction advice

Organisations such as Crew 2000 attend music festivals to ensure that harm reduction advice is available to those at the festivals who choose to take drugs. They provide useful advice to ensure that any drug use is done as safely as possible.

Testing of pills and powders

There are increasing calls for festivals to provide facilities to test the content and strength of any drugs that individuals have brought with them or have been given at a festival.  This is aimed to provide as much information as possible about what is in any pill or powder that some may have and how much, so that people can make an informed choice about what they are about to take.

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