Cumbria Crack

Kendal Calling confirms return of pioneering drugs initiative and issues welfare advice for festival-goers

(credit Jody Hartley)

[W]ith just 10 days until the gates open for the sold-out 2017 edition of Kendal Calling, the festival organisers are looking forward to welcoming around 25,000 music fans for another fantastic weekend in the fields.

A world-class line up of artists including Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Tinie Tempah, Editors, Jake Bugg, Brian Wilson and many more will entertain the crowds across the weekend.

The safety of everyone on-site is paramount in every aspect of planning for Kendal Calling. In light of recent tragic events resulting from terror attacks, the festival safety team has undertaken a full review of the procedures in place to protect festival-goers, drawing on national training, intelligence and resources. The festival will also continue the initiatives introduced last year to protect festival-goers from the dangers of drug use.

Festival Director Ben Robinson said: “Kendal Calling is a gathering of amazing people coming together to enjoy world class entertainment in the stunning scenery of Lowther Deer Park. Our first priority is the safety and welfare of everyone on site with us for the weekend. We work incredibly hard, with Cumbria Police and all our partners, to provide a safe environment for the entire Kendal Calling family.

“The team that helps us make Kendal Calling happen – Cumbria Police, St John’s Ambulance, the local authorities, our event management, production, security, stewarding and welfare partners – is second to none and we are proud to work with such professionals.

“We ask all our festival-goers to do their bit by looking out for themselves and each other and to help us make it the best Kendal Calling yet.”

Superintendent Justin Bibby said: “Cumbria Police work closely with the organisers of Kendal Calling to ensure the safety of festival goers, which is our primary concern.

“Following the recent tragic events across the country we will continue our armed presence to ensure that people can enjoy the event and remain confident of their safety. Those attending should not be alarmed by this – we are there to keep you safe.

“To help us do this, we ask that you all take care of yourselves and of each other. Leave valuables at home, be vigilant and report anything you believe to be of concern, and remember that even one experience with illegal substances can be enough to prove fatal.

“Our dog handlers and police dogs will be on site and at all the entry gates to detect and prosecute those who intend on supplying drugs, and urge anyone thinking of bringing drugs into Kendal Calling to not take the risk.

“We want everyone to enjoy the music and the atmosphere of Kendal Calling, and ask you all to do so responsibly.”

For the smoothest possible entry onto the site and a safe weekend, festival-goers are asked to:

  • Follow live information updates from the festival on Twitter – @inthefieldsLIVE
  • Pack light and only bring what you need.
  • Prepare for your journey by checking the Travel section of the Kendal Calling website –
  • If possible, use the festival shuttle bus from Penrith station – £11 return here.
  • If driving, clearly display your vehicle pass by hanging it on your rear-view mirror. You can purchase car park passes in advance for £10 here. (£20 on the gate).
  • Arrive early and have your festival tickets ready as soon as you join the queue.
  • Listen to directions and advice from the stewards and be patient. Entry procedures are there for your safety and security.
  • Don’t attempt to bring illegal drugs into Kendal Calling. Drugs detection dogs and bag searches will be in operation and if you are found with any amount of illegal substances you will not be allowed to enter or remain at the event and you could be prosecuted. Amnesty bins will be in place at every entrance.
  • Don’t leave bags unattended and never agree to look after anyone else’s bags, no matter how plausible their story.
  • Be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the Police or security. Don’t leave it to someone else.
  • In an emergency, if you think there is an immediate risk, look around you for help from staff, especially those with radios who can raise the alarm quickly. You can also call 999 who will alert appropriate onsite teams.
  • If there is an incident, listen to staff and any announcements. Organisers will have emergency plans to help you keep safe.

Once again, the festival will be operating a PPP approach to drugs:

  • Prevent illegal drugs getting on site
  • Pursue anyone suspected of supplying drugs
  • Protect our festival goers

Despite the extensive security measures and controls in place to prevent drugs getting on site, the organisers acknowledge that illegal substances are likely to be consumed.

After a groundbreaking and successful pilot at Kendal Calling in 2016, independent drugs advice service The Loop will be on site to protect our festival-goers and help them make informed choices through Multi Agency Safety Testing (MAST).

Substances of concern can be taken to The Loop advice point within the festival site for testing using a range of laboratory techniques. Results will be given to festival-goers as part of a free, confidential information package by trained and experienced drugs workers.

General welfare advice:

  • 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 go to them with any worries, concerns or issues you have while at the festival

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