Boomtown has announced its 2017 drugs policy.
The sold-out 60,000 capacity festival is taking extensive action to increase drug awareness and education, and promote harm reduction.
This will include substance testing with The Loop, trained drug counsellors at each of the campsite hubs to help educate and support young festival goers and pre-event awareness campaigns.
After making their debut last year at Kendal Calling and Secret Garden Party, The Loop have been invited to many more festivals, including Boomtown.
Professor Fiona Measham, founder of The Loop, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work in partnership with Boomtown this year to help reduce drug-related harm on site. We will be providing our free, anonymous, drug safety testing – MAST – for the first time at Boomtown this year and hope that this will help inform all services on site, as well as festival-goers, who may encounter substances of concern. “
Boomtown Fair, Hampshire Constabulary and the onsite security teams will be working even harder this year to keep drugs out of the festival. There will be increased security searches, amnesty bins at the gates, and immediate eviction for those caught attempting to get drugs into the festival.
Boomtown also have a dedicated page on their website highlighting a selection of current dangerous drug trends at festivals and events in the UK.
The three main topics discussed are the severe dangers of drug misuse, effects of mixing drugs (including prescription drugs), and recent increases in the strength of Ecstasy / MDMA.
The festival aims to offer non-judgemental facts and links in order to support and help people before, during and after the event.
Boomtown’s organisers said: “After the truly heart-breaking experiences we’ve witnessede of too many young people dying across the country at events, night clubs and town centres, through drug related incidents, we want to have an open and honest discussion to make sure we are doing everything in our power to educate, protect and prevent similar incidents occurring at the festival, and beyond, in the future. There appears to be lack of education when it comes to drug use and, hopefully, with the help of The Loop and the other drug awareness measures we are implementing this year, we can at least make a start on changing the conversation to help better prepare people for the real dangers that drug experimentation poses.”
Going into it’s ninth year, headliners for 2017 include The Specials, M.I.A., Cypress Hill, Sublime with Rome, Arrested Development, Toots and the Maytals, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Ziggy Marley, Frank Turner, (+ 100s more).
Boomtown has become one of the UK’s most innovative independent festivals, leading the way in terms of set design and production values. Offering a fully immersive, theatrically-led experience, with hundreds of actors bringing the nine uniquely themed districts to life along with the mega stage sets, it is a festival experience unlike any other.