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Fans at the festival last year.
Fans at the festival last year.
Image: Sam Boal/

Electric Picnic: Festival-goers warned of 'vigorous' drug searches

The warning comes ahead of the festival this weekend.
Aug 27th 2019, 9:23 PM 36,248 31

ORGANISERS OF ELECTRIC Picnic have warned festival-goers that they will face “vigorous” drug searches when attending the annual event this weekend. 

Speaking to reporters in Stradbally, Laois today, Electric Picnic boss Melvin Benn warned that “searching will be vigorous”. 

“We will do targeted searching where we think it’s appropriate but ultimately it’s about people making their own choices,” he added. 

With 57,500 people set to attend the festival this weekend, this is the largest Electric Picnic ever. The line-up this year includes The Strokes, Florence and the Machine, Hozier and rising star Billie Eilish.

“Illegal drugs are illegal for specific reasons and that’s principally because they’re dangerous. What’s in the drugs, people don’t know and we urge people not to take drugs,” Benn said. 

Talks are currently underway between the HSE and organisations that could provide drug-testing at festivals as calls grow for harm-reduction measures at music events. 

Meanwhile, Benn said that the festival could expand further next year.

“It feels to me like there is demand and it feels to me like potentially we could try and meet that demand if there’s space,” he said. 

This year attendees are being asked to take part in a cup deposit scheme and use reusable bottles at the festival.

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Dominic McGrath


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