Public Urination At Glastonbury Festival Blamed For Dangerous Levels Of MDMA And Cocaine In Whitelake River

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Public Urination At Glastonbury Festival Blamed For Dangerous Levels Of MDMA And Cocaine In Whitelake River

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Researchers have blamed public urination at Glastonbury Festival in 2019 for the dangerous levels of MDMA and cocaine found in the Whitelake River, which runs adjacent to the festival grounds. As the BBC reports, measurements that were taken before, during, and after the festival two years ago found that MDMA concentrations had quadrupled in the water the week following the festival, mainly due to seepage into the river water from the soil on the Glastonbury grounds.

“Unfortunately, Glastonbury Festival’s close proximity to a river results in any drugs released by festival attendees having little time to degrade in the soil before entering the fragile freshwater ecosystem,” one of the scientists attached to the study told BBC.

A spokesman for the festival responded: “Protecting our local streams and wildlife is of paramount importance to us at Glastonbury Festival and we have a thorough and successful waterways sampling regime in place during each festival, as agreed with the Environment Agency. We are aware that the biggest threat to our waterways – and the wildlife for which they provide a habitat – comes from festivalgoers urinating on the land.”

Both the 2020 and 2021 editions of Glastonbury were cancelled due to the pandemic. The fest is currently scheduled to return in June 2022.

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