Secret Garden Party marks the first UK festival to provide drug testing
According to The Guardian, independent arts and music festival, The Secret Garden Party, officially marks the first UK festival to provide drug testing ahead of the event. Close to 200 festivalgoers opted to have their illegal substances tested before consumption – a service provided by The Loop, a team that conducts forensic testing of drugs throughout the music and nightlife scene. The 10-minute health and safety session was agreed upon in advance by local police, public health authorities and the festival organizers.
SGP founder Freddie Fellowes expressed his content in being the first to offer patrons the rare chance to actually feel safe before taking drugs: “Harm reduction and welfare is a vital part of hosting any event and it’s an area that for too long has seen little development or advancement.”
During the first day and a half alone, highly potent ecstasy pills were discovered, in addition to anti-malaria tablets disguised as ketamine and ammonium sulphate as MDMA. The service marks not only a major step for the UK, but for the global festival circuit as a whole as health and wellbeing are slowly prioritized over antiquated drug laws.
“Around a quarter of people who brought in their drugs then asked us to dispose of them when they discovered that they had been mis-sold or were duds,” claimed Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation. “We were taking dangerous substances out of circulation.”
Via: The Guardian