It’s crock ‘N’ roll at this year's festivals

June 21, 2012

Festival-goers this summer are more concerned with personal hygiene and keeping clean than letting their hair down and partying hard, according to new research issued today (20 June 2012).

And music events are being invaded by an ageing generation of ‘crock stars’, with one in six festival-goers being over the age of 45 this year.

The study by The Co-operative Pharmacy among 2,000 festival-goers* has revealed that rather than beers, roll ups and condoms, it is antibacterial wipes, wellies and hand sanitiser which top the list of camping essentials. And music lovers are more likely to worry about the state of the toilets and poor weather than getting an injury from the mosh pit. 

Other festival fears included being robbed, getting ill and losing something valuable. 

Worryingly, one in five aged 55 and above aimed to drink excessively at an event while overall, almost a quarter of festival-goers consumed energy drinks to enhance their experience.

Festival injuries included sunburn, food poisoning, hearing loss and broken bones.  One in four aged 45 and over have had their festival experience spoiled by food poisoning, falling over in the dark or from excessive drinking.

Sunburn topped the reasons for festival goers to seek medical help while one in 15 over 45 year olds admitted to having long-term hearing problems after attending gigs and festivals.

Singletons and divorcees owned up to risky sexual health practices, with more than one in 20 having picked up a sexually transmitted infection (STI) at a music event.

However, older rockers were less likely to miss a band because they had overslept while more than one in three 18-25 year olds admitted missing acts because they were still in bed or had fallen asleep because they were drunk.

Fiona Caplan-Dean, Pharmacist and Clinical Services Manager at The Co-operative Pharmacy, said: “While younger festival-goers might be keen to crowd surf and revel in having a hangover, older attendees are more worried about taking loo roll and hand cleansers.

“However, festival injuries affect all age groups, from hearing loss, sexual infections, sunburn, food poisoning and foot problems.  One in 10 said they had suffered permanent damage due to an accident or injury at a festival.

“Common festival health hazards can be avoided without spoiling peoples’ fun so being prepared and staying healthy can lead to a more enjoyable time.”

Top five essentials:

  • Wet / anti-bacterial wipes
  • Suncream
  • Wellies
  • Waterproofs
  • Hand sanitiser

The top five things people have sought medical treatment for after a festival are: 

  • Sunburn
  • Foot problems
  • Hearing loss/tinnitus
  • Food poisoning
  • Blisters/sexually transmitted infections 

Additional Information:

*One Poll interviewed a random sample of 2,000 festival-goers across the UK online.  Surveys were conducted among adults across all ages and regions of the UK.

About The Co-operative 

The Co-operative Pharmacy – part of The Co-operative Group – is the UK’s third largest pharmacy chain with nearly 800 branches.

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas.

The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Craig Noonan
PR Manager – Specialist Retail
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 266 3589 / 07702 505439

Alex Wilson
Senior Public Relations Officer – Pharmacy
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 2663416 / 07540 641368