At this point, I think every American citizen knows US healthcare is ridiculously expensive. People who need medical treatment are being forced to get creative and find new ways to get access to care without going into overwhelming debt, and that’s what TikTok user @camisplaylist did when she decided to take her sick friend to a music festival’s medical tent, instead of a hospital.
In a viral video that has been viewed nearly six million times, Cami, a 26-year-old music influencer, recorded herself waiting outside of the medical tent at the When We Were Young music festival in Las Vegas. In the video’s captions, Cami wrote: “When healthcare in the US is so expensive you take your friend to a music festival so he can get his sore throat checked at the medical tent for free.”
BuzzFeed reached out to Cami to learn more about her experience. She explained that her friend started developing a sore throat on the first day of the festival. “The next morning, we made sure he didn’t have COVID-19, but his throat was still hurting,” Cami said. “He said he was going to go to the hospital, instead of day two of the festival. I’m personally very scared of American hospital bills, so I jokingly suggested, ‘Why don’t you go to the festival and get your throat checked at the medical tent for free?’ My friend said it was actually not a bad idea, so that’s what we did.'”
“They checked his pulse, blood pressure, eyes, verbal and motor functions. They asked him what he had to drink and how he was feeling overall. They also gave him Benadryl and two other medications,” Cami explained. “You obviously can’t have major exams in the medical tent, but for little things, it did the job.”
“General admission tickets for the festival started at $200, and we got to listen to Blink-182 in the background while we waited. Do you get to see a rock band when you go to a regular hospital? I don’t think so,” Cami jokingly said.
Cami, who is originally from Brazil, told BuzzFeed that growing up, she always had access to affordable healthcare in her home country. “I was born in Brazil, where the healthcare system works, and it’s free.”
“I had a friend who had a car accident in New York and needed an ambulance and stitches — her bill was $79,000. I had another friend who went to the doctor for the flu, and her bill was $700. So, I learned that going to the doctor here is the last resort.”
According to United Healthcare, the average price for an emergency room visit in the US is $2,600, and the average wait time is around two hours.
One commenter agreed with Cami’s decision to use the festival for its medical tent, writing: “I mean, she ain’t lying. No insurance, those festival tickets are cheaper than popping into the doc’s office.”
Another user wrote: “This is actually the most depressing thing ever.”
Emphasizing that point, a user wrote: “That’s heartbreaking…healthcare is bare minimum.”
Another user shared their experience getting aid at a festival medical tent, writing: “I felt that, I got my inhaler restocked for free at one.”
What do you think about buying tickets to music festivals for access to affordable medical care? Have you tried any other creative ways to access healthcare and avoid an expensive hospital visit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.