Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Glastonbury bans legal highs

By | Published on Wednesday 7 May 2014


Glastonbury’s rule-making board has at last come around to the Diana Vickers school of thought on legal highs at festivals – which is, mainly, that legal highs at festivals can be very bad news.

Glasto is the latest live franchise to join the likes of Bestival, Lovebox and Global Gathering in banning ‘psychoactive synthetic substances’ from its events. Statistics released by the ONS last year showed an 80% increase in legal high-related deaths, from 29 to 52, while health researchers say taking them is like “dancing in a minefield”, since the influx of unidentified substances into the market is so fast-paced that it outstrips drug laws.

Various festivals, including Glastonbury, shut down their sites on Monday in a so-called ‘blackout’, part of an AIF-backed initiative to raise awareness of the risks of taking legal highs.

Maryon Stewart, Founder of Angelus Foundation, the charity collaborating with the AIF on the campaign, says: “Legal highs are a huge but hidden problem because young people are acting in ignorance and no-one is measuring the harms. We are determined to keep expanding our prevention programme into new areas and bigger events until everyone get the message that the effects of these substances are unpredictable and high risk”.

Info on the work the AIF and Angelus are doing is via this link.