Music Festival-Goers Plan to Take More Drugs to Offset Higher Food/Drink Costs

Apparently, we can expect a rise in drug use at music festivals this summer as attendees will be trying out a new strategy to offset rising costs thanks to inflation. The plan? Take more drugs, according to a new survey from the Netherlands.

According to a study conducted by EenVandaag, a current affairs program on Dutch public television, and 3FM, a Dutch radio station equivalent to a Top 40 station in the U.S., nearly one in five of people, ages 16 to 34, said they planned to use drugs more than they normally do at major European music festivals. These respondents noted this decision was partly to attempt to avoid the rising cost of food and drinks, as well as escalating ticket prices. 43% said they planned to drink less or buy cheaper drinks, and 25% had a similar response for food.

One participant of the study said, “For 20 euros you have an ecstasy pill and a whole day of water at a festival. With beer and food you spend three or four times as much.” And the cost of tickets was a frequent complaint. Many used Lowlands Festival, an annual three-day music and performing arts festival in the Netherlands, as an example of exorbitant ticket prices. The 2023 festival, headlined by Billie Eilish, Florence + The Machine and Charlotte de Witte, is a minimum of 300 euros ($330) for the three days. In the early 2010s, the same tickets went for only 175 euros ($193).

62% of survey participants did say they recognized rising costs were inescapable. “No one can escape inflation, festivals simply have to pass on their costs,” said one respondee. “Better an expensive festival than no festival at all.” Yet, others noted that it didn’t necessarily have to be that way. Amongst the examples given to keep costs down were smaller setups, lesser-known artists and creative décor.

With the massive backlash that’s come with ticket sales recently, it would seem beneficial for festival organizers to start thinking outside the box in order to minimize costs as much as possible.