Music and substance preferences among festival attendants

Morten Hesse, Sébastien Tutenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This article aims to determine the prevalence of substance use among young festival-goers and the associations between preferences for different types of music and recent use of different types of licit and illicit drugs. Design/methodology/approach: The article is based on a cross-sectional survey of 1,787 young adults attending a music festival in Denmark. Associations between preferences for music and substances were estimated using ordinal regression. Findings: Prevalence of illicit drug use was higher in this festival going population than in the general population. Festival-goers who favoured hip hop or electronic music were more likely to have used various classes of substances, while those who favoured pop music were less likely to have used all substances, except for alcohol. Research limitations/implications: The data were collected under less than ideal circumstances with many respondents suffering from acute hangovers and fatigue after several days of consecutive partying at the festival. Social implications: The information in the article can be used to inform outreach efforts. Originality/value: The article adds further evidence to the observation that musical taste is an indicator of substance use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalDrugs and Alcohol Today
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology

Free keywords

  • Denmark
  • Drug addiction
  • Drugs
  • Festivals
  • Music
  • Recreational drug use
  • Social behaviour
  • Social problems


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