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Festival psychiatry

  • Ian Rodin and Richard Braithwaite

This article is based on our experience of volunteering for the charity Festival Medical Services, to provide mental healthcare at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts and the Reading Festival. It describes the history of these annual events and the development of medical and psychiatric services offered. Principles of assessment and management of mental disorder in festival settings are outlined and common psychiatric presentations are described. Legal aspects of care are discussed. The article is intended primarily to inform others of this interesting and unusual form of mental healthcare and we hope that aspects of our experience will prompt reflection on psychiatric practice in other settings.


  • Understand how psychiatric care is provided at the Glastonbury and Reading Festivals
  • Recognise the symptoms and signs of organic and functional conditions likely to present to psychiatrists at festivals
  • Identify the principles of psychiatric management in festival settings


I.R. and R.B. gain free entry to the Glastonbury and Reading Festivals through their voluntary work with Festival Medical Services.

Corresponding author
Correspondence Dr Ian Rodin, Forston Clinic, Herrison Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9TB, UK. Email:
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Festival psychiatry

  • Ian Rodin and Richard Braithwaite
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