Kendal Calling drug clamp down after 2015 death

Kendal Calling 2015
Kendal Calling 2015

Steps are being taken to clamp down on drug use at this year’s Kendal Calling Festival, including detection dogs at all entrances.

The measures come following last year’s event when Christian Pay, 18, of Millom, died following “substance abuse” at the festival.

Eight others were treated in hospital after being sold rogue drugs at the festival.

Organisers of Kendal Calling have issued welfare advice to this year’s festival goers.

They have released their ‘PPP – Prevent, Pursue, Protect’ approach to drugs, alongside advice to help festival goers play their part in making sure they and their friends have a safe and enjoyable time at this years event.

Festival director Ben Robinson said: “Kendal Calling is a community and a family. We’re all in the fields together and we want everyone to stay safe and have the best possible time.

“Make sure you eat well, get some sleep and stay hydrated. Take care of yourself and your friends and think carefully about the decisions you make.

“The dangers of drugs and substance abuse are well documented and the results can be fatal.

“All of our stewards, security and welfare staff are on hand any time of day and night to help you. Don’t hesitate to come to us with any worries, concerns or issues you have while at the festival.

“We’ve worked all year to make something magical for you to enjoy, so stay safe look out for each other and have a great time.”

Kendal Calling will work closely with Cumbria Police and the festival will continue to maintain a robust approach to anyone attempting to bring drugs, including so-called ‘legal highs’, into the event.

Measures on site will include: rigorous search-on- entry, including trained staff and detection dogs at all entrances, monitoring and analysis of any drugs seized, proactive communication including use of social media to warn of any high-risk substances found, drugs and alcohol advice point within the welfare facility, with confidential advice for any festival-goers who have concerns.

Superintendent Justin Bibby of Cumbria Police said: “Enjoy this event but please be aware of the potential dangers of taking either illegal drugs or new psychoactive substances – you can never be sure of what they contain. I want everyone that visits the festival to return home to their loved ones; understand the risks – a cheap high is not worth dying for.

“We will be working closely with the event security teams to prevent illegal substances being supplied and used and we will be using all means at our disposal to achieve it.”