Boomtown has created a 15-minute documentary candidly discussing the dangers of drugs and openly addressing the issues drugs can cause at the festival. In addition to enforcing legislation, this year Boomtown “put their head above the parapet” and led a major drug awareness and safety drive, implementing a variety of harm reduction, education and awareness measures to inform and safeguard those in attendance.
Lak Mitchell, co-founder and creative director of Boomtown, said: “It feels like a huge evolution in the festival world, all of a sudden things are stepping up and we’re progressing. We’d like to use the festival platform to introduce these new harm reduction services and ways of bringing public safety and education towards drugs (to the forefront).”
Along with representatives from Boomtown, the documentary features a wide range of opinions and experiences from experts and influencers, including Professor Fiona Measham, director of The Loop, the harm reduction drug testing service, Katy Mcloud, director of Chill Welfare, and Ed Morrow, external affairs manager at Royal Society of Public Health England.
At the 2017 event, along with the services provided by The Loop, which saw 1,132 service users get their drugs tested for safety, and more than 2,000 individuals engaging with the harm reduction intervention, Boomtown also implemented a series of other drug awareness and harm reduction measures, on top of medical and welfare provision.
The wide ranging measures put in place to keep drugs out of the festival as well as to keep people safe and aware, had many positive effects to the festival environment; following the harm reduction intervention from The Loop, 44 per cent of customers said they would reduce their dose or discard their drugs and the festival as a whole saw a 25 per cent reduction in drug-related medical incidents.
Boomtown is committed to spreading awareness and education on the dangers that drug experimentation can pose. This short film sums up all the effort that goes into to keeping people safe and providing them with the tools to make informed and educated decisions.