Electric Picnic Healthcare Tips issued by Pharmacists

  • Unprotected sex, dehydration, and diarrhoea among the main concerns, pharmacists warn

30 August 2018:  With over 50,000 music fans preparing to take the annual pilgrimage to Electric Picnic, pharmacists have issued important healthcare advice to festival goers. The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has identified unprotected sex, dehydration, and diarrhoea as among the main concerns.

Tomas Conefrey, pharmacist and member of the Irish Pharmacy Union, has urged attendees at this year’s Electric Picnic to be especially cautious about the risks of unprotected sex: “Unplanned sexual encounters dramatically increase the risks of contracting STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Condoms are the most effective contraception for the prevention of STIs and therefore we are advising people to plan ahead and bring condoms if they believe there is any possibility of a sexual encounter.

“Women who use regular oral contraception (the pill) should also be aware that it can become ineffective if the woman is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea,” he said. 

Mr Conefrey also advised that fans should bring medications for stomach upsets or diarrhoea, and antiseptic cream for bites, stings or cuts. Spending a weekend outdoors might increase the symptoms of hay fever, and those who regularly take anti-histamines should remember to take an adequate supply with them.

Pharmacists are also advising festival goers to wash their hands, as the basic hygiene of washing your hands can help reduce the risk of picking up or spreading germs that can cause sickness and diarrhoea: “We are encouraging festival goers to wash their hands before they eat, after going to the toilet and after handling rubbish.  They should also bring along hand gel with a high alcohol content, and use it regularly,” continued Mr Conefrey.

Music goers are also advised to note the location of the medical posts on site so they know where to go, if they need assistance at any stage during the festival.

Pharmacists have prepared these tips to cover some of the common issues that arise at these major music events:

Prescribed Medication:

  • Make sure to bring along an adequate supply of any prescription medication you may be taking;
  • Asthma sufferers should take preventative inhalers with them, even if they are not showing any symptoms; and
  • Anyone with an allergy to any prescription medicine, such as penicillin, should wear a bracelet or necklace stating this fact. 

Sexual Health:

  • If there is a possibility you might become sexually active at the festival, take precautions and practice safe sex. Always use a condom to protect against STIs; and
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea can render oral contraceptives ineffective.

Stomach Upsets:

  • Stomach upsets can be common at events such as festivals where people’s normal dietary routine is interrupted. Ask your pharmacist about appropriate over-the-counter medicines to bring with you should this happen; and
  • It is important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration if you are suffering from diarrhoea. In some cases, rehydration sachets may be necessary. 


  • Apply SPF 15 or higher 20 minutes before you go out into the sun, and reapply regularly;
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses;
  • If you suffer from cold sores, wear a lip balm with high sun protection and carry a cream to treat cold sores; and
  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Wash your hands:

  • Wash your hands before you eat, after going to the toilet or handling rubbish. Bring along hand gel with a high alcohol content and use it regularly.

Further information: Sinéad Fennell, Press and Communications Manager, Tel: 087 7751510