Following in the footsteps of Digital Dreams, this year's VELD Music Festival will offer new resources and amenities to festivalgoers in attempts to curb drug and alcohol related incidents.
INK Entertainment, which organizes VELD, happening August 1-2, will provide ticket-holders with personal health and safety kits. According to The Toronto Star, each kit will include a "festival do's and don'ts" tip sheet and a site map indicating where medical tents, water fill-up stations, and food vendors can be found. The Star says that VELD plans on increasing their on-site medical teams by supplying triage centers. They will also air public service announcements about the risks of drug use between sets. It sounds a bit Big Brother-y, but any kind of reminder should be welcomed.
In addition, amnesty boxes will be set up at the festival gates on both days. Similar to the successful efforts by Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival, attendees can forfeit drugs in the boxes without police intervention.
Last year at VELD, two festival-goers died and 13 were hospitalized. Drugs are said to have been contributing factors in the deaths and have since been skewed in the media as being a result of "party drugs." While we can't expect the ambitious and honest efforts attempted by Evolve Festival in Halifax this year, recognizing the need for more education and safety is a good start.
Rachael is on Twitter.