Bestival, one of the largest music festivals in the UK, will introduce drug testing facilities for the first time in a bid to stop drug-related deaths.
The news comes after two young people died because of a drug-related incident at Portsmouth event Mutiny Festival.
Bestival, who are expecting more than 50,000 music fans for their August event, will hose the likes of London Grammar, Giles Peterson, Faithless, First Aid Kid, MIA and more on their stellar line-up this summer.
With drug usage at festivals becoming a highly discussed subject, Bestival themselves know the dangers all too well when 25-year-old Louella Michie died on their site after taking recreational drugs last year. The result was that Louella’s boyfriend was arrested.
Now, in a pioneering and forward thinking attempt to solve the issue, Bestival will introduce drug testing facilities of the first time. “In the interests of public safety, Bestival has always strongly advised festivalgoers to avoid taking any illegal substances,” a Bestival spokesperson told The Independent.
“However, harm reduction and customer welfare are our priorities, so we are working with agencies to explore all public health options to ensure audience choice and safety.”
Superintendent Mike Rogers, Dorset Police gold commander for Bestival, added: “We take the issue of drug use and supply very seriously and at last year’s event, officers arrested 24 people for possession with intent to supply drugs.
“Having built upon our experiences of policing Bestival in 2017, public safety continues to be paramount and we are exploring all safety options with our partners to ensure the event is a safe environment for all.”
See the full list of confirmed acts for Bestival 2018 so far below.
Castle Stage: London Grammar / M.I.A. / Grace Jones / Plan B / Chaka Khan / Special Guest / Mura Masa / Sundara Karma / Thundercat / Jimmy Cliff / David Rodigan & The Outlook Orchestra / Stefflon Don / Kojey Radical / Dubioza Kolektiv / Gentleman’s Dub Club / Songhoy Blues / The Cuban Brothers / IDLES / This Is the Kit / Chaka Demus & Pliers / OMG! It’s the Church / L.A. Salami / Son of Dave
Big Top: Jorja Smith / Django Django / IAMDDB / Kelela / Mike Skinner & Murkage pres. Tonga: Holy Goof, Donea’o & Jaykae / Mabel / Not3s / Kojo Funds / Charlotte de Witte / Agoria (Live) / Ghetts / Mr Jukes / Casisdead / Lotto Boyzz / Sink the Pink / Phil Taggart pres. Slacker: Ratboy, Shame, Superfood, Black Honey, Confidence Man, Touts & whenyoung / We Are Scientists / Nilüfer Yanya / House Gospel Choir – Frankie Knuckles Special / Hak Baker /Adrian Sherwood / Caravãna Sun / Grace Carter / Mellah / The Correspondents / Kitty, Daisy & Lewis/ Blossom Caladron / Beans on Toast / Dutty Moonshine Band / Digital Love: A Tribute to Daft Punk / London Astrobeat Orchestra Perform Talking Heads / Elvana: Elvis Fronted Nirvana / Park Hotel
Temple: Rudimental (DJ Set) / Bicep (DJ Set) / Amelie Lens / Solardo / Denis Sulta / Mall Grab / Honey Dijon / Artwork / Camelphat / Flava D / Palms Trax / Objekt / Nastia / Eli & Fur / Alex Niggemann / Benjamin Damage / Amine K / Mella Dee / Moxie / Darkzy / FineArt / HAAi / Jamz Supernova / Goldierocks / Tasty Lopez / Bradley Gunn Raver
Bollywood: Goldie pres. Metalheadz / Rodigan pres. Ram Jam / Ram Records: Loadstar B2B DC Breaks B2B Mind Vortex / 2Bears / Billy Daniel Bunter & Raindance / Rob da Bank / Radar Radio / FooR / Happy Meals / Nathan Dawe / Biig Piig
HMS Bestival (AKA The Port): Faithless (DJ set) / East 17’s Christmas Party / Jaguar Skills / Chali 2na & Krafty Kuts / So Solid Crew, Wookie & Matt Jam Lamont, Shogun Audio pres. Alix Perez, Technimatic, Pola & Bryson, Glxy & SP:MC & Visionobi / Bez’s Acid House / Stanton Warriors / Big Freedia / DJ Brace / Jodie Harsh & Friends / Kiddy Smile / Savage / Schlachthofbronx / Buttmitzvah / Hard Cock Life
Stacey’s: Gilles Peterson / Hot Chip Mega Mix (DJ set) / Norman Jay / Craig Charles / Donna Leake / Andy Blake / Reach Up – Disco Wonderland / JazzHeadChronic pres. The South London Soul Train / Shaka Loves You / Amy Alsop / Perry Kaye
AmbientLand: Chris Coco / Jane Fitz / Mix Master Morris / Flying White Dots / Flying Mojito Bros
Club Dada: Vic Reeves (Reggae set) / Reggae Roast ft. Natty Campbell / DJ Shepdog (Nice Up!)/ Ezra Collective / Jazz Re:freshed / Henge / King Lagoon’s Flying Swordfish Dance Band / Tokyo Sex Wail / Captain Cumbia / Wara / Immigrant Swing / Movimientos / DJ Chris Tofu / Thrill Collins / White Mink Electro Swing Club / Choreograff: ft. Tension Breakers v. Swing Patrol with New York Brass Band, Natasha Khamjani & more. Pus Many More Stages & Micro-Venues Across the Lulworth Estate.