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Drug Testing on Entry


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https://glastonbury.nub.news/news/local-news/pleas-for-drug-testing-on-entry-to-glastonbury-festival-ignored-102020

Seen this on a few news sites, all the local councillors want it it seems. Not sure if there was a topic for this already although its obviously a waste of time considering dealers have drugs on them, not in them so it would achieve nothing besides huge queues to get in. Any thoughts?

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It seems to me that that article completely misunderstands what was actually being discussed.

"Front-of-house drug testing" is what some other festivals have, a public-facing tent in which punters can come and make sure what they're holding is safe.

Not, as the article kind of insinuates in the first paragraph, a vial of piss to be submitted and analysed before you can get your wristband!

Interesting, though, that it is the festival that doesn't want a tent for The LOOP, or whoever, stationed somewhere. I always thought the council would be the ones resisting that..

And also interesting that the festival's security guy thinks front-of-house testing doesn't work as a deterrent/makes things noticeably safer, in his experience.

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4 minutes ago, Simpo said:

Interesting, though, that it is the festival that doesn't want a tent for The LOOP, or whoever, stationed somewhere. I always thought the council would be the ones resisting that..

I think by allowing the Loop to have a tent it de-facto acknowledges 'drugs are allowed' kind of thing to the council if you get what I mean (and the festival for fair reason don't want that).

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1 minute ago, Simpo said:

It seems to me that that article completely misunderstands what was actually being discussed.

"Front-of-house drug testing" is where, like summer festivals, they have a public-facing tent on which pointers can come and make sure what they're holding is safe 

Not, as the article insinuates, a vial of piss to be submitted and analysed before you can get your wristband!

Interesting, though, that it is the festival that doesn't want a tent for The LOOP, or whoever, stationed somewhere. I always thought the council would be the ones resisting that..

Yep - that's quite an astonishing and impressive failure to comprehend both by the writer and at least some the councillors themselves.

I'm fully in favour of FOH testing, as implemented previously at Boomtown and others by The Loop, but in that article it seems ike only the GFL head of security and one of the councillors seem to have grasped what it actually is, how it works, or what the benefits are.

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1 minute ago, Harry_W01 said:

I feel like I read something a few years back about the police having to affectively look the other way for possession and they weren't particularly happy about that ?

Unofficially I’m pretty sure they do anyway … 

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There's a certain hubris in telling the Head of Security of the most established festival in the world that they are wrong about drugs policy cause of your experience in a local Sainsbury's. 

Really interesting insight into how the festival is approaching drugs management tho. 

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2 minutes ago, Harry_W01 said:

I feel like I read something a few years back about the police having to affectively look the other way for possession and they weren't particularly happy about that ?

Yeah, that's one of the major problems at the moment - because there's no legal mechanism for this kind of service to exist, then the council and police need to pretty much agree that people using the service won't be picked up under reasonable suspicion and that it won't be affect the festival licence.

It operated like that at Boomtown etc for a few years, and it worked well but unfortunately was stopped in 2019 - I don't think the specifics as to what happened ever got made pubic, but there was some kind of directive issued by the Home Office, which meant The Loop were able to do any FOH testing at Boomtown or any other festival that year. Not sure if that ever got resolved - I guess we'll find out in July or August.

For anyone who's not seen it, please look on YouTube for a video called "Boomtown on Drugs" for a fantastic short film about the work that they were doing on this in 2018 - it's really worth watching.

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4 minutes ago, Ayrshire Chris said:

Don’t sniffer dogs check bags at the gates? I’m sure I saw that a few years ago. 

I am pretty sure those are checking for explosives vs drugs, if they were half the festival would get in the nick

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Never seen a sniffer dog personally. When I stayed in CV east one year I did get searched randomly on the way in once, but my mate had overindulged one day and another mate offered to take him back to the caravan. He was actually searched on the way out of gate C, because he was visibly in a bit of a state, they took what he had on him away from him, photographed him and sent him on his way.

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9 minutes ago, Deaf Nobby Burton said:

Never seen a sniffer dog personally

I've seen sniffer dogs every year I've been to the festival back to the 90s.

Most recently at the coach entrance (as that's how I choose to arrive now) but they were there when I used to arrive by car in the mid 2000s.

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I have seen a sniffer dog once at Glastonbury (2017), where as at Boomtown I've seen them multiple times.

Regarding the police, and I think I've mentioned it on here previously, but I know of a group who were approached (twice in 30 minutes) by plain clothed police outside their tent after a reported complaint in 2019, and subsequently watched for the next hour or so. Ironically however, they had no drugs.

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57 minutes ago, Simpo said:

And also interesting that the festival's security guy thinks front-of-house testing doesn't work as a deterrent/makes things noticeably safer, in his experience.

has he done a fully tested trial to have that experience.

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4 minutes ago, Ayrshire Chris said:

Quite possibly. And the poor dogs would be stoned by Wednesday lunchtime.  

🤣 I remember reading somewhere they are useless after like an hour of 'detecting' and are wrong 75% of the time anyway, sounds like one of those security theatre things anyway and is just to desensitise people bringing fat bricks in 

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1 hour ago, Harry_W01 said:

I am pretty sure those are checking for explosives vs drugs, if they were half the festival would get in the nick

Can’t for the life of me think why they would be looking for explosives. If the festival wanted to check for explosives then we would be going through airport style security scanners, not a dog sniffing a few random  bags. They are drug dogs.

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5 minutes ago, Smeble said:

Can’t for the life of me think why they would be looking for explosives. If the festival wanted to check for explosives then we would be going through airport style security scanners, not a dog sniffing a few random  bags. They are drug dogs.

Large televised event condensed into a small area?  would be a good enough reason imo. I'd imagine they'd have both in that case then. airport style scanners are ridiculous in my opinion  

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1 hour ago, Harry_W01 said:

I am pretty sure those are checking for explosives vs drugs, if they were half the festival would get in the nick

Dogs are all about the fear factor, they stop working after 30 minutes and so are basically useless then - but officers can direct them to people who they think look suspicious to use as grounds for a search. I'm sure some people lose stuff every year at glastonbury, i've seen people lose stuff at Reading for instance every year i've gone as i went in although its probably not even 1% of what enters.

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3 minutes ago, Smeble said:

Can’t for the life of me think why they would be looking for explosives. If the festival wanted to check for explosives then we would be going through airport style security scanners, not a dog sniffing a few random  bags. They are drug dogs.

They are trained to sniff for whatever is required …. At that time there was an issue following the Ariana Grande concert … and it was very much in focus … they asked all bags to be labelled and we were told to expect more searches at the gates and delays getting in … in fact it’s the only time my bags have ever been looked in … 

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1 minute ago, gfa said:

Dogs are all about the fear factor, they stop working after 30 minutes and so are basically useless then - but officers can direct them to people who they think look suspicious to use as grounds for a search. I'm sure some people lose stuff every year at glastonbury, i've seen people lose stuff at Reading for instance every year i've gone as i went in although its probably not even 1% of what enters.

Good point, I am sure I read somewhere that a dog indicating to someone doesn't require you submit to a search, but like you said most people would probably shit themselves and give up what they have

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