The summer is in full swing, and music festivals are an essential part of it in many countries. US festivals are numerous and so alluring that the wish to go there can be hard to resist. Loud music, crowds of people, food and alcohol can make you a bit more reckless, and it’s not the only reason why music festivals can be dangerous to health.
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Your friends can’t help talking about the upcoming event, your BFF is racking her brains trying to find something groovy to wear, and your mates can’t wait to hang out for several days.
Americans adore music festivals, and the amount of people such events attract is impressive. However, outdoor parties involving thousands of young gals and lads and tons of beer cannot possibly result in something worthy of being defined as “safe”.
Safety is not the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about a music festival. It turns out that there are quite a lot of ways in which going there can be dangerous to your health.
Reason #1. Diseases
You can feel the big guy with a cigarette and a bottle of beer behind you breathing right into your ear. You find it hard to make your way to the girl selling hot dogs. It’s a challenge to elbow your way through the crowd to greet someone you know.
Music festivals are a perfect place to contract a disease, regardless of what way of transmission a particular infection uses. In some cases, it can lead to an outbreak of a disease. In the UK, it is measles. A hotspot for germs and viruses, music festivals are a good starting point, which helps pathogens to spread.
Besides, many young festival goers have sex with people they barely know, which almost inevitably leads to infections and other problems.
Reason #2. Dehydration
The weather is hot, and everyone is dancing. The heat and movement cause you to lose fluids as you sweat. It’s not only the water that is being lost: electrolytes, which are required by the body to function properly, should also be replenished. Dehydration is common among festival goers, and drinking a decent amount of pure water–not beer, juice or other processed drinks, but pure water!–is a must. You can opt for special drinks enriched with electrolytes, but be careful not to consume too much.
Reason #3. Alcohol
The overwhelming majority of festival goers drink alcohol. Be it beer or something more exquisite, it’s not likely to benefit your health, even if it’s a cocktail. Besides the damage alcohol does to your liver and other organs, a crowd of drunken young people is not a safe thing in itself, and you can do things you do not normally do, just because you are tipsy. Drunken brawls can also occur, to say nothing of cases of harassment.
Reason #4. Drugs
It’s difficult to find a music festival where there would be no one to offer you drugs. Taking drugs is not a wise decision regardless of season, but crowded environments can lead to intake of an even higher dose. If drugs are combined with alcohol, the liver produces chemicals that are more toxic than the mixture constituents, which makes it especially dangerous.
Reason #5. Terrorism
It’s not a musical festival feature per se, but it’s the reality we have to face: terrorists use trucks and other vehicles to attack crowds, and the number of such attacks is growing. While authorities are trying to prevent such tragedies, it’s impossible to ensure perfect safety.
It’s not that we are discouraging you, but knowing about possible dangers could help you avoid them. Anyway, it’s not the only way you can spend time outdoors, so those introverts preferring to pretend being busy or ill in order not to go there–all the friends involved in the hype may fail to appreciate such a decision–can opt for something more beneficial for both the mind and the body.
Public Health England warns of measles outbreak at music festivals – Theguardian.com