Booze, weed, molly, ’shrooms, powder, rocks, downers, uppers, trippy shit. This is just a small sampling of the many legal and illegal substances used by party people to alter their consciousness (or get fucked up) while attending major music festivals.
Now, it’s no secret that drugs and concerts go together like a bong and a bag of Cheetos. Still, it is almost impossible to reliably quantify the number of stoners, ecstasy enthusiasts, and other users at these things. Mainly because festivalgoers are engaging in behavior that’s against the law. So they treat journalists and social scientists asking questions about “marijuana and MDMA” like “fucking narcs, bro."
Over the years, we at New Times have tried to engage 18-and-over adults in conversation about their drug use at music festivals — and they'd rather talk about their STDs. Apparently, though, they have no problem posting social-media updates about rollin’ face in a purp cloud on the road to acid city at #Ultra2015.
According to a survey of 3,622,365 Instagram posts by DrugAbuse.com, a rehab resource for alcoholics and drug addicts, the reggae heads and beat freaks at Miami’s own Marley Fest and Ultra Music Festival like to get high, pop molly, and even trip balls. Other drug-addled and booze-drenched fests include Broward’s Chili Cook-Off, Atlanta’s Tomorrowland, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo, New York’s Camp Bisco, Chicago’s Lollapalooza, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, California’s Coachella, Nevada’s Burning Man, the Electric Daisy Carnival, Life in Color, and Mad Decent Block Party tours, the Holy Ship! dance music cruise, and England’s Glastonbury.
Admittedly, DrugAbuse.com’s methodology (and motives, as an addiction treatment service) are questionable. Social-media updates about music fests that contain drug jargon don’t prove attendee drug use. At most, the survey is a snapshot of the drug culture at festivals. Still, it is amusing.
The most shocking Miami-related finding: People actually smoke ganja, the sacred herb, the sweet weed, at Marley Fest! As Bob himself would say: Duh, mon.
Equally underwhelming are the MDMA mentions in Instapics from Ultra Music Festival — though we are sorta surprised that LSD is the second-most-name-checked Ultra drug.
At least, though, Miami’s rastas and ravers don’t appear to be smoking crack like the maniacs at Burning Man.
Top Concerts & Festivals by Substance
*Survey of “percentage of Instagram posts mentioning substance and event” by DrugAbuse.com
1. Chili Cook-Off — 90.26 Percent
2. Summerfest — 87.02 Percent
3. Glastonbury — 69.01 Percent
1. Marley Fest — 82.04 percent
2. Camp Bisco — 25.11 percent
3. Bonnaroo — 25.05 percent
1. Electric Daisy Carnival — 42.99 percent
2. Ultra Music Festival — 37.68 percent
3. Camp Bisco — 21 percent
1. Burning Man — 7.42 percent
2. Bonnaroo — 5.99 percent
3. Camp Bisco — 2.81 percent
1. Coachella — 12.39 percent
2. Mad Decent Block Party — 11.76 percent
3. Lollapalooza — 10.67 percent
1. Burning Man — 3.85 percent
2. Bonnaroo — 3.73 percent
3. Glastonbury — 3.72 percent
1. Burning Man — 7.22 percent
2. Electric Daisy Carnival — 0.90 percent
3. Life in Color — 0.81 percent
1. Burning Man — 5.64 percent
2. Ultra Music Festival — 2.61 percent
3. Camp Bisco — 2.60 percent
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1. Mad Decent Block Party — 5.88 percent
2. Lollapalooza — 5.63 percent
3. Holy Ship! — 5.49 percent
1. Electric Daisy Carnival — 0.47 percent
2. Tomorrowland — 0.36 percent
3. Lollapalooza — 0.29 percent
1. Burning Man — 0.48 percent
2. Camp Bisco — 0.43 perecent
3. Electric Daisy Carnival — 0.33 percent
General Drug Terms
1. Camp Bisco — 14.94 percent
2. Tomorrowland — 14.57 percent
3. Burning Man — 9.14 percent