Drug-related incidents and deaths are constantly on the rise in music festivals. A Canadian study examined all festival deaths between 1999 and 2014 and found 13 percent were caused by drugs and alcohol. Back in February, over 20 people were hospitalized after overdosing at Melbourne’s Electric Parade Music Festival.
Seeking to curb these tragic incidents, Festival Republic, a subsidiary of Live Nation that organizes festivals such as Reading and Leeds, Latitude Festival, Electric Picnic, and European Lollapalooza, is looking to establish drug-testing tents at their events operated by the Loop. Revellers will be able to hand over portions of whatever drugs they brought in order to determine what exactly is in them.
Festival Republic is hoping to secure support from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and West Yorkshire police if the testing tents are to become a reality.
Speaking with The Guardian, Andy Battle, West Yorkshire police’s assistant chief constable and the Leeds Festival policing head, said that Festival Republic’s offer is in consideration:
“We can never condone the use of illegal drugs, but we recognise that some people will continue to take them and we need to adapt our approach in the interests of public safety. Consuming controlled drugs is inherently dangerous and the tragic consequences of this have been illustrated with drugs-related deaths at the event in recent years. We will continue to work closely with the onsite security team to target the possession and supply of controlled drugs and the criminal law will be applied appropriately as necessary.”
Head over to The Guardian to read more.