Reading and Leeds festivals plan first ever drug advice campaign at 2021 events

The 'Look Out For Each Other' campaign aims to make young people aware of the risks of drug use

Reading and Leeds festivals have detailed an extensive drug outreach campaign set to be implemented at their 2021 events this month.

The campaign, titled ‘Look Out for Each Other’, is the first ever drug advice campaign from the festivals. It will be launched ahead of the August bank holiday (August 27-29) events, aiming to make young people aware of the risks of drug use, as the BBC report.

‘Look Out for Each Other’ comes as a collaboration between organisers Festival Republic and local councils in both Reading and Leeds, and will take the form of a series of animations which will be shown on big screens around both festival sites across the two events, as well as on social media.

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One reason for the new campaign is the death of 17-year-old Anya Buckley, who died at Leeds festival in 2019 after taking a number of illegal drugs, while two drug-related deaths have also been reported in nightclubs since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in England on July 19.

Reading and Leeds
Crowds at Reading Festival 2019. Credit: Getty Images.

Speaking of the campaign, Dan Burn, the public health lead for drugs and alcohol in Leeds, said: “For some, it may be the first major event they’ve been to for a long time, for some it will be the first major event in their life.

“We want these messages to be in people’s heads and not for them to see them when they first get there when it is potentially too late.”

With two main stages and six headliners at this year’s events, the bill at Reading and Leeds 2021 will be topped by DisclosureCatfish & The BottlemenPost Malone and Stormzy, while Biffy Clyro were recently announced to replace Queens Of The Stone Age, who had to pull out “due to restrictions and logistics”.

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Last month, it was announced that festival-goers attending Reading & Leeds will need to prove their COVID-19 status before being allowed entry. Ticket-holders will be asked to provide either proof of full vaccination, with the second dose received at least 14 days before the festival, a negative NHS lateral flow test taken prior to travel on the day of arrival at the event, or proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test within 180 days of the festival.

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