Cocaine and ecstasy found in river at Glastonbury Festival

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A river running through Glastonbury Festival, the world’s largest uncharted music festival, is contaminated with illicit drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy as stoned revelers often urinate on the ground , said scientists.

Researchers from Bangor University have found concentrations of MDMA, known as ecstasy, quadrupled downstream of the Whitelake River in the week following Glastonbury Festival when it was last held in 2019.

Cocaine concentrations have reached levels that would affect the life cycle of European eels, a protected species, the researchers said.

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“Contamination with illicit drugs from public urination happens at every music festival,” said Dan Aberg, master’s student at Bangor’s School of Natural Sciences.

“Glastonbury Festival’s proximity to a river means that any drugs released by festival goers have little time to break down in the ground before entering the fragile freshwater ecosystem,” Aberg said.

A festival spokesperson said the protection of local waterways and wildlife was of paramount importance to Glastonbury.

“We are aware that the greatest threat to our waterways – and the wildlife for which they provide habitat – comes from festival-goers urinating on land,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s something we’ve worked hard to reduce over the past few years through a number of campaigns, with measurable success. Peeing on the dirt is something we will continue to strongly discourage at future festivals.”

The research can be viewed at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0013935121013566?via%3Dihub

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Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Giles Elgood and Mark Porter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Jan G. Gilbert