Ask a Music Festival Wizard: Are My Wristbands Full of Diseases?
By / April 3, 2017


Noisey, the musical manifestation of VICE Magazine, hates your wristbands, and wants you to cut those souvenirs off. This is unsurprising as VICE mostly hates everything — unless it’s a math rock band only known to six people in Brooklyn or some obscure mid-eighties fashion. The basis of their article is that science has proven that your wristbands are disgusting.

As long as we’re invoking the science gods, we tried to follow Noisey’s detailed research, which consisted of a single link to a website called Science Dump. This prestigious scientific journal filled with grammatical errors states that microbiologist Dr. Allison Cottell studied a grand total of two wristbands from one person who had been wearing them for two years.

I may not know much about science (except for the degree I have in science), but a sample size of one does not make a study. Here’s the thing about wristbands: You can wash them. It’s not that hard. You can even do it while you’re taking a shower. The official count of “festival wristband related illnesses” currently stands at zero. Science!

Noisey isn’t the only publication to draw dramatic conclusions from the least scientific survey in the history of the world. Here’s a few more of our favorite over-the-top headlines from music publications all citing the same flawed study:

Your festival wristband is a hotbed of nasty bacteria –┬áThe kind that can lead to food poisoning and infections
Your festival wristband is disgusting
Your manky old festival wristbands are FULL of bacteria

I conducted a study last summer where I wore 15 wristbands for six months and can clearly state that I did not contract infections, boils, or food poisoning. So wash your wristbands, keep them clean, and you should be fine. And if you’re really concerned about personal safety, it’s probably best to stay away from a Molly-fueled weekend surrounded by thousands of dirty campers.

Born during a backstage Bonnaroo downpour, Vito's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to all the great festivals that this wide world has to offer.