VELD Festival takes extra steps to ensure attendees’ health and safety
Music festivals around the world seem to have a predictable pattern recently: a stacked lineup dropping, social media hype leading up to the event, the two or three days of the festival with memorable performances and production, and all too often, a report the following Monday morning about a health-related incident that sent an attendee to a hospital. In light of this reoccurring phenomenon, festivals are getting serious about controlling this last component of the formula.
Earlier this year, Digital Dreams Music Festival helped lead the charge for change by partnering with party health organization TRIP! Project for a campaign to make their festival experience safer. VELD Festival is the next event to ramp up tangible efforts to prevent incidents. Ticket-holders will receive personal health and safety kits that include informational sheets and a festival map with locations of water stations, food vendors, and medical tents. Additionally, there will be triage centers that will increase the amount of medical staff available at the festival. Public service announcements about the dangers of drug use will be aired between sets as a reminder as well. Some may call the precautions extreme, but VELD saw two deaths and thirteen hospitalizations in its 2014 edition, so this would definitely qualify as a better-safe-than-sorry scenario.
Some of these tactics may sound familiar. HARD and Insomniac events have some similar checkpoints, as well as amnesty boxes where substances can be deposited without legal repercussions before entering the event. Providing attendees with a kit is a new step, however, as are PSAs. A radical change needs to come about in order to curtail the amount of incidents that keep music festivals portrayed in a negative light, and hopefully some of Digital Dreams and VELD’s tactics can get the ball rolling.