[The Independent] I spent my weekend testing drugs at a festival – and I provided a service everyone should have access to
"This Is A Serious Party." That’s the motto of hedonistic Cambridgeshire festival Secret Garden Party. It’s also one that it can lay claim to like no other, after playing host to a remarkable first this weekend. For while plenty of festivals are comfortable providing the fun, they are coy about one of the most serious aspects of festival culture – drugs.
Secret Garden Party has grasped the nettle by hosting a “front of house” drug testing service for festival goers – legally and confidentially – together with information to help keep drug users from harm. While fronting four days of glittery mayhem, the level-headed pragmatism of the festival organisers choosing to provide this service meant more revellers were informed about responsible drug use, and a significant number of potentially dangerous samples were handed over and disposed of. The knock-on effect was a significant reduction the workload of the festival’s medics, welfare team and duty police officers. A serious party indeed.
I was lucky enough to be part of...