New poll shows there is more to festivals than just music
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Eminem, Beyonce and The Rolling Stones are due to play at English festivals this summer however a recent survey conducted by MSN suggests that people going to festivals are motivated by more than just the music. The poll, which surveyed 2,000 people about their festival experiences, found that music was the major reason for going for only 45% of people. It also suggests that people are more concerned with taking drugs, having sex and heavy drinking than the live music that they have paid hundreds of pounds to go and see. It seems it is more about the 'experience'. The poll bares this out when it says that 47% of those asked admitted to have done something ‘they would never consider doing outside the working environment’. This is not confined to young teenage revellers – out of the middle aged (45-54) men and women interviewed for the poll 10% admitted to taking drugs and sleeping with someone new. These findings have come as no surprise to George McKay, Professor of Cultural Studies at Salford University, who said: “Festivals are deeply rooted in the carnival tradition. Historically, carnivals would have a ‘lord of misrule’ who oversaw the revelries and subversion of the ordinary rules of life. Music festivals continue to be places where we can escape reality and subvert the rules – whatever age we happen to be. Today, the word ‘festival’ has become largely associated with music but its historical symbolism goes much deeper. While music lovers bemoan those who see music festivals as the culmination of their hedonistic dreams, for some the opportunity to cut loose from their day to day lives is more important than the headline band or artist.