Staying safe at music festivals


Every year Australian music festivals attract crowds of thousands to witness world renowned musicians and DJs do their thing on stage. The festival atmosphere is an awesome experience and opportunity to make some incredible memories.

Make all your festival experiences ones to remember with these top tips to party safely:

  • If you're drinking alcohol, keep track of how many drinks you've had to avoid injury or making yourself sick.
  • Using illicit drugs like ecstasy, LSD or methamphetamine come with risks. You don't know the purity, what other things have been added to them, strength or how it'll affect you. Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs. 
  • Seek help if you feel unwell. You won't get into trouble for telling a medical professional what drugs you've taken.

Eat, hydrate and stay cool

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if you're drinking alcohol.
  • Eat well before the festival and allow time for the food to digest. Have regular snacks throughout the festival to keep yourself going.
  • Alcohol and other drugs can affect your body's ability to regulate temperature. Heat stroke and hypothermia can easily happen. Wear sun protection, take regular breaks in the shade and have warm clothes ready for when the sun goes down. 

Take care of your mates

  • You're a mate, not a doctor so don't be afraid to seek help for someone who is unwell.   
  • It's a good idea to stay close to your mates. Agree on a place and time to meet, in case you get separated. Don't rely on your mobile phone – your battery could go flat or the network coverage could be overloaded.

Take care of your mental health

  • Festivals can become overwhelming. If you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, tell a trusted friend how you feel and move away from loud music. Find a calm place to chill out. Many festivals in NSW have friendly chill out areas run by organisations like the Red Cross who are there to help if you're not sure how you're feeling or need someone to talk too.
  • Some drugs, such as psychedelics, can enhance negative feelings like anxiety or bad thoughts. Avoid alcohol or drugs if you are already feeling emotional, depressed or anxious. Don't make any important decisions about life or relationships during a festival!

Practice safe sex

  • If you hook up with someone, be prepared and take condoms with you.  Sexual consent must be explicit. Consent might be different for everyone, but it should be enthusiastic and certain.  People under the influence of drugs and alcohol may not be able to consent. If in doubt, put off having sex until they're sober. 
  • Be aware of drink spiking. Buy and pour your own drinks. Don't accept drinks from strangers.

Think about how you'll get home

  • Before the festival, plan your way home and make sure you have enough money to pay for transport.
  • Public transport is often the safest transport option. Remember that it's illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or any illicit drug and it's not safe to drive until you are fully alert, sober and well rested. 
  • Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking or taking illicit drugs.

Know what's right for you

  • Decide what's right for you on issues like sex, drugs and alcohol. Knowing where you stand makes it easier to stay true to yourself.
  • If you don't want to experiment with drugs, you're not alone! Most young people haven't used drugs or don't want to.
  • Don't do anything you don't want to do – your mates will respect you more for standing up for yourself.

Visit the Play Safe website to find out everything you need to know about safe sex and consent.

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