Secret Garden Party is first UK festival to offer public drug testing service

80 substances including anti-malaria tablets sold as ketamine and ammonium sulphate sold as MDMA were tested

Secret Garden Party has become the first UK festival to offer a public drug testing service at its Cambridgeshire event.

The scheme, the result of a collaboration between local police, local councils and drugs safety charity The Loop, offered festival-goers the chance to test illegal drugs before ingestion.

80 substances, including anti-malaria tablets sold as ketamine and ammonium sulphate sold as MDMA, were tested, and 200 people used the service.

“Around a quarter of people who brought in their drugs then asked us to dispose of them when they discovered that they had been mis-sold or were duds,” said “Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation. “We were taking dangerous substances out of circulation.”

The scheme is now in talks to bring the testing service to two more festivals next year, though success hinges on the permissiveness of police and local councils.

Talking to The Guardian, Rolles continued: “Until the laws are reformed, testing and encouraging safer drug use is the least we can do. We hope this groundbreaking service becomes the norm for all such events. It is now up to others to follow, to protect the health and safety of their customers. In truth it would be negligent for them not to.”

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