Entertainment Festivals

Friday 20 September 2019

Festival alert: Electric Picnic issues warning over drugs and fake ticket sales

Scarlet woman: Burlesque dancer Bella Curve (Catherine Dooly) at the Electric Picnic preview in Stradbally, Co Laois. Photo: Frank McGrath
Scarlet woman: Burlesque dancer Bella Curve (Catherine Dooly) at the Electric Picnic preview in Stradbally, Co Laois. Photo: Frank McGrath
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The director of Electric Picnic has warned festival-goers against drug-taking and buying fake tickets.

Speaking about the recent tragic deaths of young music fans in Ireland and the UK related to illegal drug use, Melvin Benn said there would be a "zero-tolerance" policy at Electric Picnic.

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"We work really closely with the gardaí," he said. "The searching will be bigger - we will do targeted searches where we think it is appropriate."

He said: "Ultimately, it's about people making their own choices". But he urged people not to take drugs which were "illegal for a reason, and that's principally because they are dangerous".

The festival at Stradbally Hall, Co Laois, this weekend has been sold out for months despite an increased capacity of 57,500 this year.

Some people have already approached the organisers about fake tickets which they bought online for large sums of money.

Mr Benn urged would-be buyers to be "incredibly careful", adding: "We're already aware of people that are contacting us and showing us what they bought and it's not an appropriate ticket.

"It's a fake ticket, it's an illegal ticket and they've wasted their money and they've spent an awful lot of money on it."

While he said there was little he could do in respect of a sold-out show, he would welcome the mooted change in law that would prohibit the resale of tickets at inflated prices.

"I would be for that, if that law changes, provided it keeps a level playing field for everybody. I think it's absolutely necessary," he said.

This year's headliners across the weekend are Hozier, The 1975 and Florence and the Machine.

Irish Independent

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