Security will not test for drugs at the entrance to Glastonbury Festival

VISITORS to this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not be tested for drugs when they enter the site – despite calls from advisers, writes Daniel Mumby.

The organizers of the June 22-26 protest currently practice a policy of testing drugs when they are found, turned over or seized on the spot.

Festival security chief Andy Battle told Mendip District Council, which licenses the festival, that the implementation of ‘front of house’ testing where people offer to test drugs as they go as they come in would not be an effective deterrent to dealers.

He said he was “really confident” about the support structures in place to help people who used drugs during the festival.

He said: “We have an in-house testing facility so we are able to test drugs on site.

“Drugs that are seized, turned over or found abandoned, we can test them.

“We use this information to inform communications with the public via social media and to inform the medical team, but in reality it is of very little use to them because they have the capacity to manage all the drugs.

“We have welfare capabilities that have the capacity to handle over 50 people. We employ consultant psychologists, nurses and addiction counsellors. Hall tests are only effective when people show up. »

Mr Battle added that indoor testing would not stop what he claimed was the leading cause of drug-related deaths at festivals – namely people taking more than one drug at the same time, often with the alcohol.

He said: “Drug deaths are tragedies. Evidence suggests that overall more than one drug is involved and invariably alcohol is also involved.

“There are no tests available that will tell you what the safe level of multi-drug and alcohol is. It’s a false premise that indoor testing would help us provide the right knowledge.

“I have spent my life chasing drug dealers. Nothing prevents them. They are parasites and they will find every opportunity to sell drugs to everyone.

“They’ll peddle brick dust if they can. They will just peddle anything to make money, and nothing will stop them. No amount of indoor testing.

Several councilors expressed dismay at the policy, including one who said they would “chain” and “remove certain body parts” from anyone convicted of drug trafficking.

Jan G. Gilbert