Bestival, Blissfield and Festibelly festivals join fight against legal highs

Daily Echo: Three of the south's music festivals have joined the fight against legal highs Three of the south's music festivals have joined the fight against legal highs

THREE of the south's most popular music festivals have joined together in the fight against legal highs.

Bestival, Blissfields, and Festibelly will take part in a nationwide “digital blackout” tomorrow to highlight the danger of taking drugs.

The festivals' websites and social media accounts will go down for 24 hours.

Fans visiting the homepages will be met with a black window except for a grey light bulb and the message: “Don't be in the Dark about Legal Highs”.

They are among 20 UK festivals taking part in the campaign including T in the Park, Lovebox, and Global Gathering.

Two of the south's biggest festivals - the Isle of Wight Festival and BoomTown - are not taking part.

Bestival takes place each September on the Isle of Wight, Blissfields is held at Vicarage Farm, north of Winchester each July and Festibelly takes place in the New Forest, also in July.

The initiative comes after the Daily Echo launched its Say No to Legal Highs campaign in October last year after the potentially fatal substances claimed the lives of young people in Hampshire and left others seriously ill.

Daily Echo: Daily Echo launches campaign to tighten law on sale of  'legal highs.

Some of the substances are readily available to buy in Hampshire shops and online.

The campaign calls on tougher laws, vendors and sellers to be held to account, and tighter controls to stop vulnerable youngsters from being able to buy the products over the counter.

The “digital blackout” has been organised by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and backed by Bestival founder Rob da Bank.

It is also hoped to reach an audience of 500,000 people.

Rob, who is a DJ on Radio One and lives on the Isle of Wight, said: “It was universally agreed it was something we wanted to support.

"There's no point in being lovey-dovey about this, but the message is particularly to young people who have never tried legal highs or are thinking of trying them and just showing them how the risks outweigh the benefits."

The initiative comes after Home Office minister Norman Baker warned authorities are involved in a ''race with chemists'' in India and China who are producing potentially dangerous new legal highs on a weekly basis.

AIF's co-founder and vice-chairman, Ben Turner, said: ''Legal highs are a serious concern for any festival organiser and the issue is only going to get bigger.

''The substances have managed to fly under the radar purely by evolving faster than the monitoring bodies can regulate.

''Banning it at our festivals is only part of the battle however, we need to make fans aware of the dangers of legal highs and help them make safer choices when having fun on-site.''

Comments (4)

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12:17pm Sun 4 May 14

daisy.talks says...

people only put themselves in danger using legal highs because safer illegal historical alternatives are less readily available and difficult to obtain. maybe if we move forward with the rest of the world and legalise the sale of cannabis, a substance used for hundreds of years completely harmlessly, we could potentially save lives. we need to educate young people. by making it a taboo subject we force them into dangerous situations over which they have no control. at the end of the day, regardless of what anyone says, people are going to want to expand their consciousness through the use of psychedelic compounds and with that said we as a society are duty bound to make sure they are protected when they do so. how many children have to be murdered by the government through inaction before something changes. legalisation means better education, better quality and safe monitored environments for those who choose to take psychedelics and use them in a positive way rather than enveloping them in a culture of ignorance and fear and putting them at a potentially lethal risk.
people only put themselves in danger using legal highs because safer illegal historical alternatives are less readily available and difficult to obtain. maybe if we move forward with the rest of the world and legalise the sale of cannabis, a substance used for hundreds of years completely harmlessly, we could potentially save lives. we need to educate young people. by making it a taboo subject we force them into dangerous situations over which they have no control. at the end of the day, regardless of what anyone says, people are going to want to expand their consciousness through the use of psychedelic compounds and with that said we as a society are duty bound to make sure they are protected when they do so. how many children have to be murdered by the government through inaction before something changes. legalisation means better education, better quality and safe monitored environments for those who choose to take psychedelics and use them in a positive way rather than enveloping them in a culture of ignorance and fear and putting them at a potentially lethal risk. daisy.talks
  • Score: 4

9:00pm Sun 4 May 14

Charlie Bucket says...

daisy.talks wrote:
people only put themselves in danger using legal highs because safer illegal historical alternatives are less readily available and difficult to obtain. maybe if we move forward with the rest of the world and legalise the sale of cannabis, a substance used for hundreds of years completely harmlessly, we could potentially save lives. we need to educate young people. by making it a taboo subject we force them into dangerous situations over which they have no control. at the end of the day, regardless of what anyone says, people are going to want to expand their consciousness through the use of psychedelic compounds and with that said we as a society are duty bound to make sure they are protected when they do so. how many children have to be murdered by the government through inaction before something changes. legalisation means better education, better quality and safe monitored environments for those who choose to take psychedelics and use them in a positive way rather than enveloping them in a culture of ignorance and fear and putting them at a potentially lethal risk.
Well put. We should really focus more scientific effort in finding safer ways for people to get high, and stop moralising. Every time this comes up, I ask the question "aside from the health drawbacks with the currently available drugs, can anyone explain what exactly is wrong with getting high?" and the closest anyone ever comes to answering it is "I think it's sad that people feel they have to". The ridiculous hyperbole around drug use quashes any hope at a reasonable dialog on the subject.
[quote][p][bold]daisy.talks[/bold] wrote: people only put themselves in danger using legal highs because safer illegal historical alternatives are less readily available and difficult to obtain. maybe if we move forward with the rest of the world and legalise the sale of cannabis, a substance used for hundreds of years completely harmlessly, we could potentially save lives. we need to educate young people. by making it a taboo subject we force them into dangerous situations over which they have no control. at the end of the day, regardless of what anyone says, people are going to want to expand their consciousness through the use of psychedelic compounds and with that said we as a society are duty bound to make sure they are protected when they do so. how many children have to be murdered by the government through inaction before something changes. legalisation means better education, better quality and safe monitored environments for those who choose to take psychedelics and use them in a positive way rather than enveloping them in a culture of ignorance and fear and putting them at a potentially lethal risk.[/p][/quote]Well put. We should really focus more scientific effort in finding safer ways for people to get high, and stop moralising. Every time this comes up, I ask the question "aside from the health drawbacks with the currently available drugs, can anyone explain what exactly is wrong with getting high?" and the closest anyone ever comes to answering it is "I think it's sad that people feel they have to". The ridiculous hyperbole around drug use quashes any hope at a reasonable dialog on the subject. Charlie Bucket
  • Score: 0

10:00am Mon 5 May 14

Micle1974 says...

Pointless. Let's all take our websites down, why don't we shut our shop doors and board them with posters for this for a day too
Pointless. Let's all take our websites down, why don't we shut our shop doors and board them with posters for this for a day too Micle1974
  • Score: 1

11:46am Wed 7 May 14

daisy.talks says...

So, they had the “digital blackout” did anything happen? No
So, they had the “digital blackout” did anything happen? No daisy.talks
  • Score: 0

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