Coming back from Glasto? Cut off your wristband now before you get boils

The germs can also cause infections and food poisoning


Your favourite festival wristbands could give you boils if they stay on for too long.

New microbiology research found old wristbands are teeming with germs, contain 20 times more bacteria than clothes.

And now health experts warn your summer fashion accessory can contain enough filthy germs to give infect your cuts and even cause food poisoning.


Cut these off or you might get infected

Lab tests on two different bands tied on a Reading festival goer’s wrist since 2013 were home to around 9,000 micrococci and 2,000 staphylococci –– the bacteria which can cause boils, infections and food poisoning.

Surrey Microbiology Prof Dr Alison Cottell explained just how filthy and germ-ridden your festival wristbands can be.

She said: “The vast majority of bacteria cultured from the bands were staphylococci and micrococci.

“Although these bacteria are normally found on the skin there was a surprisingly high number growing from the wristbands.

“A rough ballpark figure would be the amount of bacteria that grew on wristbands was about 20 times higher than you would expect to find on the sleeve of a piece of clothing that would be regularly laundered.

“Staphylococci are usually harmless although they can cause boils and infections of cuts and grazes, and can also cause a form of acute food poisoning if they are ingested.

“Infections are most likely to affect the ability of cuts and grazes to heal. More serious, but rare, complications include septicaemia.

“The hospital superbug, MRSA, is a type of staphylococcus bacteria that is very resistant to a number of commonly-used antibiotics.

“It would be advisable not to wear them if working in industries such as healthcare or food preparation, where there is a risk that the bacteria may spread to other people.”


Is it still cool when your wristbands are teeming with bacteria?

Read about the defiant students who didn’t want to take off their wristbands despite the health concerns.

Manchester grad Joe Heys explained he felt the need to keep on 20 wristbands in order to preserve the memories of his festival experiences.

He said: “For me, it boils down to the experience I have had at a particular festival and the connection l have with the wristband.

“If the connection is strong, the wristband stays but if the connection is weak, the band is disposed off and never spoken about again.

“Sometimes if I’m returning to festivals I’ll put the previous years’ bands back on, just so people know they’re dealing with a veteran.”