Almost all guides to the use of psychedelics assume that the trip will happen in a calm, controlled environment, with few other people present. But it isn’t always like that. Since the 1960s lots of people have used psychedelics at festivals, concerts, discos and raves. So here is some general advice for people who are interested in psychedelic partying.
Why Would You Want To?
Why would anyone even want to take psychedelics in a crowded, noisy situation?
Let’s be very clear. We are not saying that you should want to. If you don’t want to, then don’t. If it feels wrong to you, don’t try to force yourself to do it. It doesn’t work for everyone and there is nothing wrong with you if it doesn’t appeal to you.
But why would anyone want to?
There are two perspectives to look at this from - a practical partying perspective and a psychedelic perspective.
From a practical partying point of view, there are good reasons for using psychedelics. Although this guide like all others is full of warnings about the dangers of psychedelic mis-use in such situations, there is very much a positive side. Compared to all other popular party-drugs (ecstasy, speed, whatever), psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin are highly non-toxic, producing far fewer negative side-effects and after-effects. They are also generally less expensive. In a moderate dose (we will explain later what this means), psychedelics can give the dancer as much or more energy than any other comparable substances, without any of the negative side-effects. Compared with MDMA, for example, there are simply none of the unpleasant after-effects, often lasting several days, that are associated with using drugs to keep you energised at a party.
From a psychedelic perspective, why would you choose to trip in that kind of situation?
The first thing we would say is that if you are one of those people who has never tripped in any other kind of situation except at a rave or festival - then you really should try to make sure you get the classic experience of tripping somewhere quiet. Otherwise you are really missing something special.
But if you are someone who has had that kind of experience - why would you go into a noisy social situation to trip? One reason is that part of the magic of psychedelics is their ability to enable an intense communal experience - and sharing this experience with hundreds of people at the same time can be powerful and and life-enhancing in a particular way.
The other reason is that one of the noted features of psychedelic experience is the way that it enhances the user’s appreciation of music - so being in situations in which hundreds of people are listening to music together can be a very beautiful and awe-inspiring experience.
Okay - those are some of the reasons why people might want to do psychedelic partying. If people are going to do it, how do they do it safely? That is what the rest of this guide is about.
Know Your Source
Never buy or accept drugs from people you don’t know at a venue or festival. Never do this. It is not safe.
We don’t recommend breaking the law on any occasion. However, if you you are going to take drugs, it is always advisable to have as much information as possible about exactly where they come from, what they contain, and how much you are taking.
These days, unless you grow or pick your own mushrooms, or happen to know somebody who runs an LSD lab, then it is probably safer to get drugs from a reputable seller on the darknet than from some guy you kind of know.
This is because sellers on the darknet will have countless reviews from earlier customers that you can check, and their products are likely to have been subject to verifiable lab-testing by known drug-testing facilities such as Energy Control in Spain.
In fact we would strongly recommend that you make use of Energy Control's services yourself, or a service such as Wedinos (based in Wales).
In particular, users who obtain materials from the darknet often report that the information available to them about the exact dosage of what they receive is much more reliable than what would be available to them if they obtained the materials from other sources.
In the real world of face-to-face drug transactions, it is notoriously difficult to purchase substances like LSD while receiving any even vaguely accurate information about how much LSD is actually on the bits of paper that you are buying. Honestly - even if your friend thinks they know how strong those hits are, they almost certainly don’t.
This is not so much the case on the darknet, where reputable vendors are under massive pressure to sell only accurately-dosed units, and products are tested in labs and by hundreds of very experienced users.
This is a major reason why some people use the darknet to purchase drugs. See here for more information on how people do this.
We must stress again that we don’t recommend anyone to break the law. But it is good to know a bit about this scene because legal things can be purchased on darknet sites as well as illegal things, and on some sites (such as The Majestic Garden), you can find very useful information that can help minimise your risk of coming to any harm when tripping in legal situations.
If diving into the world of the ‘Darknet’, ‘dark web’ or ‘deep web’ (they all mean the same thing), then we strongly recommend checking out the scene via a site such as Deep Dot Web .
But if you don’t have time for all that, you should know that the whole process of following this guide only takes a couple of hours from start to finish.
We don’t advocate breaking the law.
Tripping at the Party, Concert, Festival or Rave
Using psychedelics safely and effectively in crowded noisy places requires a slightly different approach to using them at home or in nature.
The general amount of stuff going on around you, the number of other people present, the lack of control over your sensory environment, all make the situation quite different to what you will experience in a quieter setting.
Most experienced trippers will normally take a lower dose in a party situation than they would in a quieter situation. To give a sense of the ratios here - if we’re talking about LSD, then the classic ‘full effect’ psychedelic experience dose is normally said to be 250ug.
On the Grateful Dead tour scene the traditional dose on a single hit of acid was 100ug - a moderate dose likely to induce significant psychedelic effects but not likely to incapacitate the user in a crowded situation (but be warned - to the inexperienced user in such a situation, such a dose still has the potential to be quite frightening).
In the 70s, the traditional ‘disco dose’ on the New York dance scene was even less - maybe around 65ug. That’s enough to energise the user for dancing but not enough to provoke significant hallucinations.
But in all of those cases, experienced users would often multiply those doses by several factors.
Keeping Your Head Together
It is probably advisable not to have one’s first psychedelic experience in such a situation. There are no hard and fast rules, but ordinarily, those who have had more experience tripping in more ‘classical’ situations, and at higher doses, then find party situations easier to navigate and enjoy while tripping, compared with inexperienced trippers.
An ideal way to experience this more ‘classical’ type of trip would be to attend one of our legal Psychedelic Experience Retreats.
Once the trip is happening in a party situation, the usual rules apply for both safe tripping and safe dancing. Make sure you always have enough water and take rests if you get tired. If you get stressed out, try to tune into some positive thoughts, feelings, or stimulus (the music, a friendly smile, a pretty light, whatever). Don’t worry too much about what anyone else is doing or thinking. If it gets too much , then go home and lie down - there’s no shame in that. Don’t drink a lot of alcohol - it will dehydrate you and detract from the trip. Smoking weed is normally fine, but it won’t help you have energy to dance.
One thing sometimes to consider in a party-type situation is that you might want to get high in more of a hurry than you would at home. The main way to avoid a very long wait for the substance to start working is not to have a stomach full of food - waiting 2 or more hours after any large meal before ingesting. The medium that the drug is stored on can make a difference, but only a small difference. LSD dissolved in liquid will often work a little faster than LSD impregnated in paper - but only a little faster. But remember that it will probably take a good hour to reach full effect.
So far we’ve talked about LSD, which is the most traditional party psychdelic. In fact, psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is in many ways a more suitable party drug. It doesn’t last as long, and in a moderate dose, it tends to have a more euphoric quality. Although it is very common for people to think that mushrooms are for big spiritual trips in nature, and LSD is for partying in the city, some experienced trippers think that this is a mistake. Yes, mushrooms are a natural product used in some shamanic traditions. Yes, LSD is a synthetic substance. But actually psilocybin in a moderate dose is a less powerful drug and tends to leave your sense of self a little more intact. LSD is more powerful, lasts longer, and tends to produce a feeling of mystical oblivion which can be fantastic in a party situation if you like it, but can also be scary if you’re not used to it. Some users do find that they are more responsive to music on LSD than psilocybin, but most don’t feel there’s any difference.
The problem with using psilocybin is that if you’re taking mushrooms then moderating your dose can be quite tricky. It is possible to make or obtain mushroom tinctures which are probably perfect for this purpose.
If all you have is dried mushrooms then we strongly recommend grinding all you have into a powder to create a standardised mixture, and weighing out doses carefully. The dosage guides found on websites like Erowid can be used. But be careful - the actual concentration of psilocybin in mushrooms varies between every mushroom and every crop, as well as between every strain, so the best way is really to get a lot of mushrooms, dry them out, grind them to powder, and then try the powder at home a few times to get a sense of how potent it is, and then take maybe half what you would take at home for a big trip if you are going partying.
Some people like to put the powder in capsules, but the capsules can take a very long time to break down in the stomach. One easy method is to take measured doses of powder out with you and drink them with liquid. Just be careful about taking small bags of brown powder into clubs with you, if there is any chance of being searched by security. If they think you’re bringing heroin into their club, they won’t be happy.
So having said all that - it’s probably much easier just to get some LSD on paper from a known or reputable source and take that with you, carefully moderating your dose. But mushrooms are always worth considering, especially as the effects don’t last as long as an acid trip.
Be very careful about mixing psychedelics with any other drugs. Mixing with other hallucinogenic drugs (eg ketamine), or stimulants (speed, meth, coke, etc.) is NOT recommended. Lots of people have tried it and lots of people have regretted it. Mixing with MDMA is quite a traditional practice and many people find that this actually helps them have an easier trip. Just go easy on the dosages. You can find more information about dosages for ‘candy-flipping’ (mixing LSD with MDMA) and ‘hippy flipping’ (mixing mushrooms with MDMA) on sites like Erowid, but a standard mild candy-flip recipe would probably be 50ug of LSD plus 50mg of MDMA .
Thanks for reading. You can find out more about particular substances via our Substances page. And again, if you haven't had a psychedelic experience before, or you're considering taking a larger dose than before, a party is not the ideal situation. Instead, check out our Psychedelic Experience Retreats.