Making the front page on the Sydney Morning Herald came an article saying 90 percent of music festival attendees use illicit drugs. And in case you couldn’t tell, the stat is bullshittttt. While drug use and music festivals can go hand-in-hand, saying basically everyone is doing illicit drugs at festivals is just flat out wrong.
SMH claims the stat came from NSW Health. However, NSW Health actually denies SMH’s usage of their statistic. NSW Health came out to say they commissioned an organisation to survey about 424 people to get their perceptions on drug use. The organisation’s goal with surveying was to see how well their social media campaign was working on Aussie youth. It was not to collect data on how many people at music festivals were on drugs.
“The data from this research provides insight about young people’s perceptions of festival attendees, rather than reporting on people’s actual drug use,” NSW Health Ministry told Junkee. “It is not suggested by the Ministry of Health that this data be quoted as evidence of fact.”
So treating this stat as scientific truth is super fucked. And it’s not at all how people should be aiming to address drug use at festivals. Like, people have been taking drugs at concerts for decades. So we need to shift the conversation to how we can make taking drugs at festivals safer (cough, cough pill testing.)
Not to mention, the term “drugs” covers a range of different things. Caffeine is a drug, tobacco is a drug and alcohol is a drug. Which, if those factors are taken in consideration, obviously there will be high numbers.
— Tiger Webb (@tfswebb) July 9, 2019
ALL THOSE CAFFEINE FIENDS
— Bhakthi (@bhakthi) July 9, 2019
Yet, this article claims the majority of people are on MDMA, which is a bit of an extreme stance. Don’t ya think?
“Almost all patrons at music festivals take illicit substances, with MDMA being the drug of choice,” said SMH. Like WTF. No.
If you’ve ever been to a festival, you know that’s def an exaggeration. And while there’s probably a fair amount of drugs at festivals, it’s truly safe to say not nearly everyone is on it. And fear mongering people away from music festivals is just so backwards. It’s claims like this that the Gladys B’s of the world latch on to, to demonise ’em and stop the rest of us from having fun. No thanks.
Image Source: Unsplash, GIHPY