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Increase in spiking reported at Danish festival

Danish heavy metal festival Copenhell says it is “deeply saddened” by a worrying increase in drug spiking at this year’s event.

VIP Booking reports that organisers were made aware of up to 10 people who unknowingly had substances slipped into their drinks in the festival’s large party tent ‘Biergarten’, adding the trend has also been detected across the wider nightlife scene.

Festival booker and director Jeppe Nissen tells Kulturmonitor the event will “take measures to combat” the development moving forward.

“We are deeply saddened by this and urge everyone to contact us directly if they have had any experiences with drugging or possess any information that can help identify the perpetrators,” says Nissen.

The 35,000-cap Copenhell took place in Copenhagen from 14-17 June and featured acts such as Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Pantera and Slipknot.

“We have not previously recorded any incidents of drugging at Copenhell, and it has not been a problem that we specifically addressed or warned our audience about,” adds Nissen. “But when we see seven to 10 cases, unfortunately, we cannot say that we have done enough in terms of prevention. It is definitely a problem we will address and take measures to combat.”

“We’re delighted to join forces on our mission to stamp out spiking with the Association of Independent Festivals”

Other Danish festivals such as Smukfest are calling for further dialogue on the subject, while trade body Dansk Live has vowed to address the issue.

Elsewhere, the UK’s Association of Independent Festival (AIF) has announced a partnership with LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop and anti-spiking charity Stamp Out Spiking to bolster its Safer Spaces Charter.

Stamp Out Spiking was established to tackle increasing incidents of spiking across the UK and worldwide. The charity exists to highlight the dangers of spiking, and offer effective and practical solutions to keep people safe in pubs, clubs, house parties, festivals and beyond.

“We’re delighted to join forces on our mission to stamp out spiking with the Association of Independent Festivals,” says Dawn Dines, CEO and founder of Stamp Out Spiking. “Working together will make such a difference in safeguarding men and women at festivals across the UK. Highlighting how these cowardly crimes are taking place, sharing key information on the typical signs and symptoms, will make it so much more difficult for perpetrators and ultimately safeguard festival goers.”

The partnerships have contributed to new Safer Spaces resources that directly addresses the needs of LGBT+ survivors of abuse, and the broader issue of spiking.

“It’s important for AIF to work towards creating safer and more inclusive spaces for everyone, and work with those who provide specialised support,” says AIF membership & operations coordinator Phoebe Rodwell-Carson. “We hope to build on this with as many festival organisers as possible, supporting them in upholding their duty of care towards music fans and festival staff, whilst ensuring we remain inclusive and open to all.”


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