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18% of Ultra-goers have taken MDMA (and other festival drug facts)

A new survey by ticket marketplace TickPick has revealed how – and where – US festivalgoers take their drugs

By IQ on 03 May 2018


Ultra in Miami "lives up to its drug-fuelled reputation", says TickPick

image © Anosov1505/Wikimedia Commons

South by Southwest is the booziest major event on the US festival calendar, while Burning Man has the highest average cannabis usage and Electric Daisy Carnival the highest percentage of loved-up ecstasy takers.

That’s according to a new study by US secondary ticketing site TickPick, which recently surveyed more than 1,000 American festivalgoers to discover their drug-taking habits ahead of the 2018 festival season.

Among TickPick’s findings are:

  • At over 77%, SXSW had the highest alcohol consumption of the popular music festivals
  • At over 26%, Electric Daisy Carnival had the highest MDMA consumption of the popular music festivals
  • Burning Man had the highest usage of marijuana, LSD, mushrooms and opioids of the popular music festivals

“Though alcohol was the leading substance at all festivals we studied, some interesting findings emerged regarding other substances,” say the study’s authors.

“If you assumed Coachella would have the highest rate of pot-smoking in cannabis-friendly California, you might be surprised”

“If you assumed that Coachella would have the highest rate of pot-smoking in cannabis-friendly California, for instance, you might be surprised by our data. The festival has never embraced marijuana and still bans the substance from its grounds despite the state’s recent legalisation of weed for recreational use.

“Other festivals lived up to their drug-fuelled reputations: EDM meccas EDC and Ultra had high rates of MDMA and cocaine consumption.

“One festival did not seem to discriminate: From pot to LSD, Burning Man had some of the highest rates of drug use around. Perhaps this rate of consumption has something to do with the festival’s ‘gift economy’, where food, supplies and even drugs are shared openly without cost. The Nevada gathering’s extensive reputation for intoxication precedes it, but organisers are firm on one point: Though pot is now legal in the state, it won’t be tolerated by police on the festival grounds. According to our data, however, Burning Man attendees seem pretty unencumbered in getting high.”

Read the full study here.


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