WATCH: Just how bacteria-riddled are old music festival wristbands?

A microbiologist analyses bands worn for seven years to see

Festival Wristbands, Festival Armbands, Bacteria


Keeping a music festival wristband wrapped around your wrist as a souvenir of a weekend of treasured memories might seem like an enticing thing to do. But if you know someone who has held on to his or hers for years, to the point that they’ve become greasy bands, it might be time to tell them that the time has come to cut them off.

Two Australian radio hosts decided to find out just how filthy old wristbands are by heading off to a lab and having a microbiologist test two sent in by a listener for bacteria. The older of the two dates all the way back to a music festival in 2009, while a third band, worn by radio host Veronica Milsom for a couple of hours, was tested as a control.

After extracting the bacteria and leaving the samples to stew for a couple of days on agar plates in Petri dishes, Milsom’s band came back relatively clean, with a scattering of benign bacteria. As for the others, one was so infested that it was now producing its own antibiotics. Other speckles of bacterial growth included germs that could cause infections like septicaemia.

Take a look at the video below and take a pair of scissors to any bands still wrapped around your own wrist.

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