Posted by Steps to Recovery on April 3, 2013

Music festival season is upon us! My favorite time of year. Going to see amazing bands and musicians, dancing, the food, people watching…So many amazing things come along with attending a music festival. Everyone seems to be really excited for Lollapalooza this year, and who wouldn’t be? Amazing headliners like Mumford and Sons, Nine Inch Nails and The Killers, and equally amazing supporting acts, it’s going to be a great year if you got tickets to already sold out Lollapalooza festival that takes place in August.

But attending a music festival like Lollapalooza basically guarantees you will be subjected to a lot of people drinking alcohol and using drugs. Partying and music are somewhat synonymous, and that can be really triggering for the recovering addict who is a music lover. I know when I was in early recovery, it was really hard for me to say no to attending music shows and festivals like Lollapalooza, since this is something that I love so much! But for the first year of recovery, I just said no to going to these types of things, to spare myself the hardship of being around things I couldn’t partake in but still often craved.

Taking a look at Lollapalooza specifically, I see that they have several alcohol sponsors. So all that advertising and all that drinking will be a big part of the festival. Of their 21 sponsors I see a high percentage are alcohol companies. Bud Light, Thorny Rose, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bacardi and Maestro Dobel Tequila are all sponsors, that’s almost a quarter of their advertising, so it’s clear that you won’t be able to look anywhere without seeing alcohol ads and people drinking. Not to mention the drugs that are always pretty much in your face at a music festival like Lollapalooza.

The bottom line is, if you are in early recovery or are not yet comfortable around alcohol and drugs, an event like Lollapalooza is not for you. If you feel you are ready to attend a music festival, that’s great! Just make sure that you are prepared. Have a safety plan, a list of people to call for support (especially if you aren’t attending with other sober people) and a way to get out of there if you need it.

Have you attended an event like Lollapalooza? How did you cope with the substance use around you?