Festival Republic has decided not to allow on-site drug testing

On-site drug testing looks to have been vetoed again this year by Festival Republic, the UK’s biggest festival producer.

Melvin Benn, managing director for the company that organises Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Latitude, and other festivals across Europe, raised hopes campaigners last year after telling the BBC “testing is important”, and that they were hoping to get a special licence from the Home Office for testing to go ahead.

However, those plans were and Benn has now told The Independent that “front house testing sounds perfect but has the ability to mislead”.

Successful pilots testing from were in place at festivals like Secret Garden Party and Boomtown in 2017, with the former crediting it with “reducing drug-related hospital admissions by 95 per cent”. The Loop was also present at Love Saves The Day in Bristol this year, issuing warnings about pills containing pentylone which can cause extended insomnia and paranoia. It's also due to appear at Parklife, , and more this year.

Unfortunately, it seems “after much discussion with medical pressionals, police forces and licensing authorities”, Festival Republic has pivoted back to the tried and tested position “there are no safe illegal drugs”.

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