Whether channelled through its distinctive themes, or its confrontation of social issues, Secret Garden Party’s ethos and spirit of independence has always been to encourage a free-thinking and forward-thinking community.
Organisers are genuinely gratified to receive recognition for pioneering work on drug testing – the first public testing facility in the UK.
Freddie Fellowes, founder of SGP, along with Steve Rolles (Transform Drug Policy Foundation) and Fiona Measham, (Durham University) and Director of The Loop, last night were presented with the Association of Independent Festivals’ ‘Act of Independence’ gong at the AIF Awards.
They scooped up the award for spearheading the first UK public drug-testing scheme at last summer’s Secret Garden Party – a service approved by Cambridge Police and local health authorities – where people could have their drugs tested for safety on site.
Paul Reed, General Manager of the AIF said: There was a very strong shortlist for the inaugural ‘Act of Independence’ award and the result is some well deserved recognition for an initiative that was both preventative and proactive, focusing on harm reduction, promoting safer drug use and helping people to make informed choices.
It was achieved following years of hard work behind the scenes engaging the various agencies involved so congratulation to Secret Garden Party and The Loop for their perseverance and pioneering work in this area.
We hope to see MAST testing become rapidly widespread at festivals, and AIF are working closely with The Loop and the organisers of Secret Garden Party to develop best practice and national guidance for drug use and health and safety services at festivals.
Here at MFN we’re huge supporters of the work The Loop are doing, and we hope all festivals jump onboard in the near future.
For information on Secret Garden Party 2017, you can visit the official website here.