– By Doug Shields

The days of festival-goers drinking themselves into oblivion are on the wane – after a study found a third of music fans are vowing to drink less at events this summer.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study found enjoying the atmosphere and making the most of the whole experience are now more of a priority than necking booze.

It also emerged many will ditch social media, opt for healthier food choices and practice ‘mindfulness’ in order to be ‘in the moment’ and get more from their festival experiences.

Despite living in the digital age, filming acts on smartphones is a no-no for 23 per cent of festival revellers, with 37 per cent preferring to watch bands ‘live’ rather than through a lens.

A further 62 per cent feel social media is a distraction that hinders their festival experience, whilst seven in 10 (71 per cent) plan to indulge in a ‘digital detox’ and ditch their smartphones altogether.

Instead, 19 per cent will step outside their comfort zone to make new friends (19 per cent).

A third (33 per cent) of festival-goers say they plan to drink less at this summers’ live events, with 19 per cent claiming a hangover affects the next day’s festival experience.

It comes after 41 per cent say they struggle to remember the whole experience come the journey home.

The survey of 2,000 Brits is part of Barclaycard’s Summer of Goosebumps Study, a year-long exploration into Brits’ experience of live entertainment and the science behind music and emotion.

Behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings, said: “The phenomenon of using festivals as a way to relax and unwind is nothing new, however our behaviours at these live events are changing significantly.

“Festivals are now seen as more than just a raucous weekend away in the countryside – they are a form of escapism fuelled by a growing desire to be mindful and ‘present’ in the moment.

“As we live in an ‘always on’ economy, the thought of a digital detox is becoming more appealing and there are huge benefits to our physical and mental well-being.

“By embracing a new attitude at festivals, we could see stronger emotional connections to the audience and acts, and even improved sleep and lower blood pressure amongst attendees.”

Nourishment is also a priority, as 47 per cent admit to changing their eating habits to boost energy levels while out on the field.

Choosing salads and smoothies over burgers and hot dogs was the plan for 32 per cent while vegan dishes, fresh fruit juices and quinoa are also on the menu for one in five.

And rather than mosh pits and getting stuck in the mud, 30 per cent now look to activities such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness to enhance their festival experience.

It seems the days of scheduling clashes and rushing between performances are over, as 42 per cent of ticket holders will make a detailed timeline of their favourite acts to ensure they don’t miss a thing this summer.

The research also found 30 per cent of festival goers are looking for a more immersive experience from this summers’ festivals, with 29 per cent admitting they will arrive early to get as close to their favourite act as possible.

As part of the new Barclaycard Perk Park at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park, customers will be given the chance to act like a headliner and complete their own stage dive, a privilege traditionally reserved for the front men and women of world famous bands.

Cardholders will be escorted through a backstage experience in true rock star style, entering a stage that resembles the greatest music venues in the world with the whole experience captured as part of an incredible 3D, 180 degree video.

Daniel Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship at Barclaycard, said: “It’s fascinating to see the new trends changing what consumers want from live entertainment events.

“Our research shows it’s now as much about the performance on show as it is about the overall festival experience, whether that’s the food on offer or the acts on site.

“Festivals have a history of producing some of the most emotive performances that easily translate into a strong physiological response and it’s this feeling of excitement, elation and euphoria we’re hoping to recreate through the Perk Park Stage Dive in Hyde Park.

“We’re looking forward to seeing customers experiencing those magical, goosebump-inducing moments for themselves.”


1. Queuing (38%)
2. Bad weather (31%)
3. Audience members filming performances on their phones in front of you (23%)
4. Running out of supplies (15%)
5. Mud/dirt (14%)
6. Having a hangover on the second or third day (12%)
7. Not showering (12%)
8. Friends being distracted by social media (12%)
9. Scheduling clashes (11%)
10. Not being able to play with contactless (11%)


1. Seeing my favourite bands/acts (54%)
2. Getting goosebumps from a live performance (34%)
3. Making memories (31%)
4. Spending time with friends/family (31%)
5. Feeling a sense of freedom (26%)
6. Being part of the crowd (24%)
7. Meeting new people (22%)
8. Being with my friends (19%)
9. Discovering new artists (18%)
10. Camping (12%)

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