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Festival Republic to begin offering drug testing services

By | Published on Wednesday 24 May 2017

Festival Republic

Live Nation’s Festival Republic is to introduce drug testing services at a number of its festivals this year, boss man Melvin Benn has revealed. The programme allows festival-goers to find out exactly what drugs they have bought, and if and how they might be safe to consume.

Speaking to the Press Association, Benn explained: “We talked about it during the summer of last year and the reality is that I took a decision that unless and until the National Police Chiefs’ Council supported the principle of it, it was difficult for us to move forward on it … It’s taken a long time and it won’t be at every festival, but where we think there is a need to do it, we will be doing it”.

Benn said that he expects testing to be available at “between six and ten festivals this year”. The service will be provided by The Loop, which will test illegal substances handed over by festival-goers. They will then report back on what substances are in the drugs, before destroying whatever they were given to test.

The scheme was launched last year at the Secret Garden Party, where 200 people had their drugs tested. “It’s really exciting that police are prioritising health and safety over criminal justice at festivals”, said The Loop founder Fiona Measham of Festival Republic’s plans to allow drug testing.

Measham says that she expects to see The Loop’s testing to be available at around ten UK festivals this year. Of those operated by Festival Republic, Benn has said that he feels “pretty certain” that Leeds Festival will offer the service, but Download will not.