THE Eden Sessions is one of 24 UK music festivals which are taking part in a digital blackout on Monday to highlight the dangers of “legal highs”.
It is taking part in a campaign which will see websites for top festivals including T in the Park and Bestival turning their websites dark for a day to raise awareness of the risks of taking legal highs.
Visitors to the Eden Sessions homepage on Monday will be met with a completely black window except for a grey light bulb and the message: “Don’t be in the dark about legal highs”.
When music fans click on the light bulb they will be taken to information about legal highs and can then choose to find out more or navigate to the festival’s standard homepage.
The initiative has been put together by the UK festivals trade body the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) which is working with the Angelus Foundation, a charity set up to educate people about the risks of taking legal highs.
It is hoped that the campaign will become an annual event.
AIF is against the sale of legal highs at festivals and members are taking a stance by banning the sale of the substances by on-site traders.
AIF co-founder and vice chair, Ben Turner said: “Legal highs are a serious concern for any festival organiser and the issue is only going to get bigger. The substances have managed to fly under-the-radar purely by evolving faster than the monitoring bodies can regulate.
“Banning it at our festivals is only part of the battle however, we need to make fans aware of the dangers of legal highs and help them make safer choices when having fun on site.”
Maryon Stewart, founder of Angelus Foundation added: “Legal highs are a huge but hidden problem because young people are acting in ignorance and no-one is measuring the harms. As the lead organisation raising awareness of these substances, Angelus is delighted the festivals are taking the issue seriously and helping to keep their audiences safe. We are determined to keep expanding our prevention programme into new areas and bigger events until everyone get the message that the effects of these substances are unpredictable and high risk.”