Electric Picnic boss Melvin Benn insisted “drugs are not less illegal” at the festival as Stradbally prepares to welcome 70,000 revelers for the first time in three years.
e has moved to clear up confusion about the HSE’s first drug test pilot plan to be carried out at the three-day event in Stradbally Hall, Co Laois this weekend.
Followed by a new drug harm reduction campaign, surrender boxes will be placed in designated HSE tents to determine what illegal substances are being used at festivals in Ireland. A Garda Siochána said there would be no exemption for anyone in possession of illegal drugs, Mr. Benn repeated the comment.
“There is absolutely no pardon,” he told Independent.ie.
“There is an opportunity for people to surrender the drugs and put them in a safe place and if they come with them I would urge them to do that but there is no pardon.
“If they come across that surrender crate and still get caught with them, it’s almost worse because they’ve had the opportunity to surrender in that sense.”
When the HSE and the Minister of Health approached him to participate in the pilot campaign, the head of Festival Republic was “delighted” to do so.
“Ultimately, anything that makes people safer is something we should be doing. Don’t beat about the dust – drugs are still illegal. They are no less illegal at the EP because the HSE pilot is here,” he said.
“If the General Manager catches you with drugs, trust me, he will put you in jail. He won’t hesitate, he’s very clear about it but at the same time, what we can do to help, we should. Ultimately, the best thing to stay safe is not to take banned drugs, it’s not that complicated.”
A similar scheme has been trialled at events in the UK over the years to carry out on-site testing and has previously been carried out at the EP site as well.
“But whatever gets pulled in by Gardaí will be immediately taken away for testing and even in 2019 we will issue a drug warning for specific pills with higher strength. So in that sense it’s not so much of a change but it’s a more public stance on it,” added Mr. Benn.
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A series of changes were brought to the 70,000 attendees of this year’s event, including moving the main stage around to increase audience capacity.
Several new zones have been added and old favorites have been expanded while the Mindfield stage has been more prominent.
There was also consideration of the climate crisis when Heineken’s Greener Bar first launched. The entire bar has been made from enhanced materials while revelers are encouraged to reuse the same cups to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. Its debut will be a Theater Area while Irish Ballet will feature heavily alongside a festive tent called Fish Town, curated by Festival favorite Jerry Fish.
Returning will be the famous Casa Bacardi stage with three days of music along with the Comedy Tent.
Mr. Benn said it was “three years in the making” so they had plenty of time to consider how to make the event even better for attendees.
“You would never think at the end of 2019 that it would be three years before we could set foot on the pitch again but here we are and I’m happy,” he said.
“It’s been a long journey and obviously I had some hope that we’d get through it in 2021 – we didn’t – and of course we’ve finished the season so we’re pretty close to the end. last case. It’s the most culturally and musically important event in Ireland, as far as I know. We’ve waited three years, it will only make it more special. “
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/festivals/drugs-are-not-any-less-illegal-at-electric-picnic-says-festival-organiser-as-hse-pilot-scheme-will-be-in-place-in-stradbally-41948398.html Festival organizer said: ‘Drugs are no less illegal at Electric Picnic’ as the HSE pilot will be carried out in Stradbally