Festival-goers attending the Boardmasters Music Festival at Watergate Bay will be able to get their illegal drugs tested to ensure they are safe.<..." />
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News Archive > General > Drugs to be tested during festival

Drugs to be tested during festival

By Warren Wilkins 25th July 2018

Drugs to be tested during festival
Image: The Loop

Festival-goers attending the Boardmasters Music Festival at Watergate Bay will be able to get their illegal drugs tested to ensure they are safe.

Boardmasters is introducing front-of-house drug testing carried out by The Loop, the UK’s sole drug testing charity, in partnership with Safer Cornwall and with the support of Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.

Testing will be available within a tent, which will be “free, confidential and non-judgmental.” The scheme, reportedly costing £15,000, is being jointly funded by Boardmasters and Safer Cornwall but St Mawgan Cornwall councillor John Fitter believes the music festival organisers Vision Nine should foot the bill rather than being partly paid for by taxpayers.

The police have allegedly resisted drug testing being made available at Boardmasters but the Government recently announced it will not stand in the way of drugs testing at festivals.

The partnership between the local agencies follows the tragic death of 15-year-old Shakira Pellow who died recently after taking an “unknown substance.”

Cllr Fitter said: “Boardmasters should pay the amount of money due, which is £15,000 to cover the charity’s expenses. They have got a drug problem up there and I believe this is a positive step to ensure children do not take drugs that endanger their health like the death we have had recently in Camborne.

“The drug testing is a major turnaround. The police have previously resisted the idea. The drug testing unit should be there as a matter of course.”

A host of major UK music festivals have introduced front-of-house drug testing by The Loop. Andrew Topham, the Boardmasters festival director, said: “Boardmasters has a very low drug incident rate, however anything that can be done to further reduce potential harm to festival goers we will embrace.”

Fiona Measham, The Loop director, said: "The Loop will be delivering our drug safety testing service at over ten festivals across the UK this summer so we have a growing understanding of what is circulating in the illegal drug market, what is mis-sold and what the risks might be.

“We are delighted to be at Boardmasters for the first time, with such strong support from Safer Cornwall, Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and other partner agencies. To date, our experience has been that there is a significant reduction in drug-related harm and hospital admissions when drug safety testing is available for festival goers.”

Councillor Jesse D.I Foot said: "I am very pleased to hear that festival organisers are bringing drug testing to Boardmasters Festival in collaboration with The Loop, Safer Cornwall, Cornwall Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and other agencies. “The Loop's work, which has already proven to be successful at other festivals, is a forward-thinking way for agencies to work together by putting in place an innovative harm reduction policy. I strongly support this initiative."

By Warren Wilkins 25th July 2018

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