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What Your Favourite Drug Says About Your Favourite Music Festival

This new study will help you match your festival plans with your substances.

An alarming study released this week has revealed that people are taking illegal substances at music festivals. That's right, not content with the cool, refreshing buzz of a crisp Coors light, some young people have been getting involved with drugs. I'll give you a moment to swallow that news.

As reported by Billboard yesterday, substance abuse and addiction treatment site have gone a step further in outlining the specifics of this phenomenon. Using the search tool on Instagram they compiled a staggering 3,622,365 mentions of various substances and locating them at different festivals, essentially compiling a hashtag compendium of where each high is most popular. Now, without being too cynical, we are a little dubious at the efficacy of a study claiming to draw data from words trending on Instagram, but if people are talking about some drugs more than others at particular festivals, it probably follows that a fair amount of them are taking them as well.


The results paint an interesting picture of who is taking what, and where they are doing it, attaching a smorgasbord of powders, leaves and rocks to their spiritual homes. Unfortunately for us, the festivals included are nearly all American, but draw some interesting zeitgeist links all the same. If you still aren't sure which festivals you want to go to this summer, but know what weird chemicals you like to put into your body, then look no further than our handy guide to which drugs are most at home at which festivals.


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Kicking things off exactly where you'd expect, the most mentions of bifta were at Marley Fest, now known as the Austin Reggae Festival. By all accounts this is the one if you are looking to bun a zoot and kick back to some slow jams. weren't looking for this, but we imagine Marley Fest also probably played host to the most flags, zippo lighters, t shirts, beanies, bongs, clocks, plectrums, baby-grows and socks with Bob Marley's face on. Getting high on the merchandise man.

A guide to every T Shirt you should avoid this summer.


If you love Molly, then apparently you need to get yourself to Electric Daisy Carnival, an EDM super-fest that started in Vegas, but has since expanded to Chicago, Florida, and home of PLUR, Milton Keynes. No longer the foray of dimly lit warehouse spaces, the pinger is now the popping candy of the Kaskade Kids. This is where huge light shows meet even huger pupils.



Unless you are really well off, that white stuff you've just scraped together with your Nectar card probably isn't cocaine. It is understandable then that the people who can afford to snort something other than plaster of paris can probably also afford to go to a festival that costs roughly £187 a day. So grab a gram of chang, book a long weekend off work, blow a wad on a pair of bright white Huaraches, smuggle some Grey Goose inside a hamper and end up seeing roughly 0.9% of the lineup.

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Apparently people are doing crack cocaine at Glastonbury. That's right, somewhere between a Brian Cox talk, and members of the Vaccines joining Mumford and Sons on the Pyramid Stage, people are smoking crack and then talking about it on Instagram. That is unless the study failed to acknowledge all other uses of the word 'crack' that could possibly be in use on Instagram, such as: the verb 'to crack', the noun 'a crack', somebody's arse, Crack Magazine, 2009 thriller Cracks starring Eva Green and popular 20th Century children's television programme Crackerjack. But no, most likely everyone at Glastonbury this year will be on crack, including Michael Eavis and Lionel Richie.


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Wanna take a trip dude? Wanna open your mind to the possibilities of the cosmos? Wanna connect with the desert sands, the space rain, the cactus flower, the spirit of the night? Wanna get your face painted? Burning Man, America's answer to Shambala, is the place to go if you love your hallucinogens. Expect to see accountants dressed as shamen convinced a sleeping bag is making eyes at them.



Then, waiting at the bottom of the list is booze. Alcohol. Lads, lads, lads. Really and truly, unless you are going to Buddhafield in Taunton, every festival in the world is going to flag up warm litre Coca Cola bottles full of cheap spirits and pineapple juice. According to the infallible Instagram test the most popular hotspots are annual American country music chow-down Chili Cook-Off, "world's biggest music festival" Summerfest, and once again Glastonbury. So if you really love to drink, your best bet is probably an all you can eat Chili Con Carne contest.

Enjoy the full spectrum of the results below.

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