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Drape, Measham, Lord named NTIA Ambassadors of the Night

Ground Control Productions/Broadwick Live’s Jon Drape, the Warehouse Project’s Sacha Lord, Fiona Measham of drug-testing service the Loop and veteran promoter Harvey Goldsmith are among the UK industry figures recognised as the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA)’s first ‘Ambassadors of the Night’.

At its Ambassadors of the Night event at Red Bull Studios London last night (5 December), the association honoured key figures for their contributions towards developing and protecting Britain’s £70bn night-time economy.

Also recognised were the We Love Hackney campaign, which led the fight against the borough’s controversial new curfews, Jamal Edwards, founder of urban music platform SBTV, and, posthumously, late Kiss FM DJ Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson.

“These awards … represent the enormous steps forward we have made”

“These awards across a cross-section of stakeholders, recognising police forces, council leaders, business improvement districts, mayors and citizens, as well as music and nightlife industry, represent the enormous steps forward we have made in Britain,” comments Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association.

“Nightlife lights up our streets, brings revenue and jobs, promotes culture and is a part of who we are. Let’s all be Ambassadors of the Night.”

The full list of winners are:

 


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Fellowes, Drape, Measham on the case for drug testing

The Loop director Fiona Measham, Broadwick Live’s Jon Drape and Secret Garden Party promoter Freddie Fellowes joined AFEM CEO Mark Lawrence at IMS Ibiza last month to discuss drug testing at festivals and clubs.

The Case for Drug Testing at Events, presented by The Loop’, on day two of IMS, saw the two festival bosses – both of whom have led the way in implementing the Loop’s multi-agency safety testing (MAST) at their events – talk with Measham and Lawrence about their experience of front-of-house pill testing, and its effectiveness in reducing the harm associated with drug use, with Fellowes describing the growth of MAST as “the first meaningful change in harm-reduction policy that I’ve seen in our industry” in 20 years.

Calling for change, Measham, also professor of criminology at Durham University, said in order to avoid future drug fatalities at festivals, “we need to is actually encourage a more healthy relationship with drugs”.

Watch the panel in full, exclusively on IQ, above.

 


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Time to Test: The Loop to bring drug testing to city centres

The Loop, the charity behind the pill-testing services at several UK music festivals, has called for the introduction of ‘regional drug-testing hubs’ in British cities to stem the alarming rise in the number of drug-related deaths.

Night Lives: Reducing Drug-Related Harms in the Night-Time Economy, a new report by the Loop, Volteface, Durham University and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, highlights the urgent need to reduce the harms associated with club drug use – revealing that though drug usage rates have remained broadly consistent, hospital admissions have spiked sharply, with drug-related deaths due to ecstasy and cocaine at their highest since records began.

It also recommends the adoption of a series of “bold yet practical initiatives” to combat the issue, including:

Report co-author Dr Henry Fisher, health and science policy director at Volteface, comments: “While the UK’s drug market has rapidly evolved in recent years, measures taken to address harms have failed to keep pace and, as a result, our young people, public services and much-loved venues are bearing the brunt of this failure. Everyone we spoke to for the report agrees more needs to be done to reduce drug harms.

“This report provides innovative solutions to tackle them, such as drug safety testing services. It is now up to councils, clubs and police to work together to implement them.”

“Keeping people safe requires more than zero-tolerance rhetoric”

The Loop’s first festival partner was Secret Garden Party, in 2016, with Kendal Calling following shortly after. It also offered front-of-house testing at Boomtown Fair in 2017, and the organisation says it will work with “an increased number of UK festivals this summer”.

To help fund the launch of the scheme, along with the “growing demand” for its services at festivals, the Loop has launched a crowdfunding campaign, Time to Test, which aims to raise £50,000 by 15 June.

“Night-time venues are at the centre of British music culture, making our cities exciting and vibrant places to live while contributing over £66 billion to the UK economy,” says Jeff Smith MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform. “Keeping people safe requires more than zero-tolerance rhetoric around drugs and out-dated licensing laws. This report offers credible and tested solutions to help protect people attending events.

“I hope that venues, local authorities and the government will work together to make these recommendations a reality.”

To donate to the Time to Test campaign, visit crowd.science/campaigns/time-to-test.

 


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