Effects of Substance and Intoxication Assignment PDF

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Rio Owen- student ID: 20028362
Events in society- UMKDN8-15-1
Word count: 1251
The Effects of Substance and Intoxication use at Music Festivals.
Festivals are universal and occupy a special place in society and culture. Festivals
defined by (Getz 2010) are “a sacred or profane time of celebration, marked by
special observances.” Festivals often celebrate community values, ideologies,
identity, and continuity. Large music events, such as music festivals, attract large
numbers of visitors according to (Kristin Feltmann 2019). Examples include the
music festivals Glastonbury (175,000 people) and Tomorrowland (185,000 people) in
Europe and the Coachella Valley music and art festival (125,000 people) in the US.
(Feltmann, Elgán and Gripenberg, 2019, p.2) suggest that Music festivals are arenas
where young people socialize, and alcohol drinking is often considered a part of the
festival experience. As well as substance abuse with many people experimenting
and trying drugs for the first time at festivals. To add to this, Johnson, et al (2009.
P.213) states that music festivals seem to be the most influenced by substance and
alcohol abuse. The impact of being intoxicated have major consequences, including
bad crowd behaviour, overdosing and criminal activity (Getz, 2005). This literature
review will be exploring consequences of substance and intoxication abuse, as well
as how crowds and attendees are managed.
Drugs and alcohol at music festivals
Festivals are often highly anticipated events, seen as a break from normal life, and
can provide an occasion for alcohol and drug use (Borlagdan, Freeman, Duvnjak,
Bywood, & Roche, 2010; Luckman, 2003). The consumption of licit and illicit
substances is an important phenomenon that has been connected with nightlife and
festivals and has received widespread attention (Tina Van Havere 2009). As
reported by Mackellar, antisocial behaviour is looked upon to be associated with
excessive drug and alcohol consumption. (2014), As music festivals and raves have
grown more popular in recent years, so has music festival drug culture. Festival
drugs, such as MDMA and LSD, are a big part of the festival experience for many
people. (Lauren Brande, 2019.) Alcohol is often used to celebrate, Hutton and
Jaensch (2015, p.42) suggest that the consumption of alcohol is considered a social
norm, suggesting that it is almost expected of attendees to participate in drinking.
Alcohol use is associated with many public health problems including traffic crashes,
violence, sexual assaults, and sexually transmitted diseases (Zawacki 2005). Also,
Despite the best efforts of event producers and on-site medical teams, there are
sometimes serious illnesses, life-threatening injuries, and fatalities related to music
festival attendance.Drug overdoses are commonly reported at music festivals.There
have been more than 700 deaths at music festivals in the last 15 years; deaths are
related primarily to trauma and substance use. (Lund 2017). Anyhow, a high number
of deaths are covered within the media but not within academic literature. This
shows that more research needs to be conducted, more questions need to be asked.
(T. Martinus et al. p. 796) quoted, “the creation of a festival atmosphere, loud popular
music, the search for temporary freedom from the restraints imposed by work or
study.” This suggests festival attendees use their ticket to escape their reality for a
short while. Which could be seen as somewhat justifiable on a temporary occasion.
Event audience behaviour
Music festivals are regularly associated with rowdy, disruptive behaviour, also known
as “anti-social behaviour”. It goes without saying that drugs and alcohol often play a
big part in these types of behaviours. One example of anti-social behaviour within a
festival is the Gothenburg Party, a Swedish Festival, talked about by Carlsen, et al, it
was an open festival with no entrance fee. The vision was to create an ongoing
atmosphere of celebration of city life in Gothenburg for all citizens. Despite this vision
it did not go to plan, alcoholic beverages, combined with the vision to create a party
atmosphere for older and young people resulted in alcohol-induced anti-social
behaviour by youngsters. This behaviour gave the festival a negative perspective,
with Gothenburg residents came to consider the festival as a “booze up for
teenagers ending up being sick and falling asleep in our parks.” (Carlsen, et al. 2010,
p.125). At a festival behaviour such as mentioned above can have a tolerable effect,
it can deter people away from attending the particular festival again. It is clear that
drugs and alcohol play a huge part in crowd behaviours and peoples outlook on
Management of Crowd behaviour
Event organizers have a responsibility to properly manage health and safety risks for
all attendees, staff, and contractors. When it comes to large events such as festivals.
Outdoor music festivals are increasingly common events in the summer for people in
many countries around the world. Evidence indicates that attendance is associated
with an increased risk of injury and death. A considerable proportion of crowd related
risks are attributed to irrational and high-risk behaviour by attendees. (Raineri, 2013.)
Conducting a risk assessment before the event takes place helps predict accidents
and problems which could occur (Bowden, et al. 2012). It is essential that enough
medial support is offered due to the large implications of intoxication. Suggested by
Page and Connell (2012), alcohol and drug consumption heightens the workload of
both emergency services and onsite festival care. A music festival in Sweden
employed 40 “alcohol inspectors”, to identify intoxicated people around the festival,
their jobs were to talk to them and remind them to be sensible and look after
themselves whilst at the festival. In some cases, they would contact security staff
who could end up removing the individual from the festival, (Feltmann, Elgán and
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