BOOMTOWN is poised to allow revellers to test their illegal drugs this summer.

The move follows a spate of drug-related deaths at festivals in recent years, including Olivia Christopher, 18, who died at the Winchester festival last year.

She is the fourth person to have died during the seven-year history of Boomtown.

For the first time this summer, Reading and Leeds Festivals and a number of other live music events are aiming to introduce the testing of illegal drugs for attendees, with the support of local police forces.

Festival-goers will be able to take their drugs to a testing tent run by The Loop, an organisation which usually conducts forensic testing of drugs seized by police. They will then tell them what is in the drugs before destroying whatever was handed over.

Boomtown spokeswoman Anna Wade said: “We are very pleased to say that The Loop will be at Boomtown this year.

“Boomtown will be implementing a number of additional safety and harm reduction measures this year including pre-event awareness campaigns and education, and free front-of-house testing with The Loop which also includes a one-to-one 15 minute drug consultation session.

“The festival will also be testing all the amnesty and seized drugs in a back of house facility to identify potential harmful substances that could be circulating.

“There will be increased security measures, amnesty procedures and searches at the gates and on top of our extensive medical and welfare provisions, trained drug counsellors will be stationed at each of the festivals’ seven camp site hubs.”

She added: “We are looking to have a fully preventative and supportive drugs and harm reduction system to minimise the amount of people putting themselves in danger through experimenting with drugs.

“However, even with all these exiting and additional systems in place we acknowledge that some will still experiment and we want them to know they can speak to and approach any of our staff and will be given the support required.”

Last year, The Loop ran the scheme for the first time at a UK music festival when around 200 revellers tested their illegal drugs at Secret Garden Party in Cambridgeshire.

Founder of the organisation Fiona Measham said the initiative’s expansion was “radical”.

Melvin Benn, head of Live Nation subsidiary Festival Republic, expects it at “between six and 10 festivals this year”.

Hampshire Police did not comment on the scheme when asked by the Echo.