If there’s one rule that gets broken at all clubs, bars, and music festivals, it’s the one about drugs, and how they aren’t allowed in. Nearly every music event on the planet has a bag-check section at the entrance, just to dissuade people from bringing in drugs. Not that any of them work, of course. Lots of people still manage to get high, because lots of people smuggle drugs through bag checks in a variety of ways.
We asked a bunch of event organisers to tell us about the most memorable attempts at drug smuggling they’ve seen. Some told us stories of great success, while others told us about sad and dangerous failures. And some events staff told us about times they’d smuggled in drugs themselves, even though they were supposedly the gatekeepers.
Here’s the weirdest attempts at party drug concealment, according to people who run parties.
Laura, 23, club promoter
I remember one time a girl came up to me to admit she had a bottle of vodka stuck in her vagina. Her friends were uselessly drunk, so I decided to go to the hospital with her to explain what had happened. There she underwent a brief medical procedure and the doctor got the bottle out and repaired the injuries. While this was happening her parents showed up and I was the one who had to explain what happened. Apparently, the girl was just lucky the bottle didn’t break inside her. Later this girl told me she’d put the bottle in her pussy 30 minutes before we met, just so she wouldn’t have to buy booze at the party.
Ian, 31, DJ
One time this girl showed up at my party and told security she was carrying collyrium (a medicated eyewash) for her contact lenses. The security team looked skeptically at the bottle but she told them: “you can taste it or smell it if you want, but if I wanted to hide something I’d have just stuffed it down my bra!” Then she emptied her bag out so everyone thought she was just acting like a crazy diva and we quickly ushered her through.
About an hour after, a member of our security team came over and told me this girl was sharing her collyrium with tons of people on the dancefloor. "They are using it in the mouth and not in the eyes," he said, concerned. I smiled and told the guy to advise her and her friends to drink tons of water.
Joshua, 34, security guard
Sometimes people sew sheets of blotter LSD into the internal parts of their clothing. It’s possible to stitch a lot of drugs into your clothing this way, you just have to have a needle and a thread to do it. But even knowing this information, I rarely ask to check the internal seams of peoples’ clothing. So I guess it’s a good method to bring drugs in.
Patrick, 28, bar staff
My friend once brought a bunch of helium balloons into a festival, just in his hands. He told me the security gave a look and inspected some of the balloons, but they weren’t translucent, so they couldn’t see anything. What they didn’t know was that one of the balloons had a couple of ecstasy pills inside them.
The only inconvenience was bursting all the balloons until he found the one with the pills. I asked the guy why he didn’t just hide one pill per balloon, and he said he thought about it, but decided the probability of a security guard bursting one of the balloons to check was too high.
Markus, 37, producer
One of my best friends performs as a drag queen at some clubs where it’s common for people to conceal drugs beneath their wigs. As his boyfriend is a dealer, they have been working together smuggling drugs inside festivals and nightclubs. Depending on the style of the wig, it’s possible to smuggle in enough drugs in for a three-day music festival. You see, he is really well paid to do this job and since then he has been buying gorgeous wigs for his performances. I bet we’re all going to watch him on RuPaul’s Drag Race really soon.
Berg, 36, producer and DJ
The security of my club was recently upstairs, looking out the window, when they saw someone in the queue sticking something up their bum. Of course, when he got to the door, we didn’t make him open his asshole; we just told him the security cameras had caught him hiding stuff inside his ass and he was asked to leave. But he insisted on getting everything out in front of security, who had to watch him shitting out the coke, which was inside a condom. Yuck.
Steve, 26, audio technician
I’m a black guy with dreadlocks, so the sneakiest way to get into any party with drugs is to just ask a white dude to do it. I can assure you that any Caucasian guy has a much better chance of getting 50 grams of cocaine into a festival than a black man carrying just a cigarette. Some of my friends are from the Middle East and India, so all of us get extra patted down several times by security guards—but my blond German roommate never has this issue, even when we’re together in the same line. And honestly, the most annoying thing to me is that a bunch of white dudes will approach me asking if I’m selling drugs, so then I’ll be a double target because of my delicious extra melanin.
Shelly, 28, festival curator
A friend of mine once disguised a goon bag as a birthday cake, so she covered it in icing and decorations. When she got checked by the security, she realised there were also police officers with dogs at the festival so she said to one of the guards “I hope your dog won’t eat my birthday cake.” They asked if there was anything illicit inside the cake and she answered “nope, no drugs, I guarantee you there are no illicit ingredients in the cake.” The cake got intensely sniffed by one of the guards, who was probably trying to smell traces of weed. In the end, they just took the candle off the top, telling her it wasn’t “appropriate or safe.” But the goon bag cake got in.
Chris, 25, info tent volunteer
My local dealer once offered me a quarter ounce, saying he’d give it to me inside the festival so I wouldn’t have to worry about taking it in through the gates. On the first day of the festival I called him asking where to meet and he told me to go to the burger stall and order the “all-natural munchie maker.” I did this and I was given a burger box with a quarter ounce of weed inside. That was some high-class dealing, and it was the moment I decided that some very talented people are involved in drugs.
Trish, 34, producer
One of my best friends sells stuff at music festivals, so he’s always visiting the properties a week before the festivals happen. Then he either digs a hole or finds a burrow in a tree to store the drugs. Later, when the festival is happening, he goes back to his stash and sells everything that you can imagine: from regular cigarettes to cocaine and MDMA.
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