A raft of new safety measures will be introduced at next month’s Reminisce Festival after revellers suspected of taking ecstasy took ill at last year’s event.
Thousands of revellers descended on Sherdley Park last summer for the popular annual dance festival, which launched in the borough in 2014.
However, the event was marred after a dozen people took ill.
Those hospitalised included a 19-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man who became seriously ill following suspected ecstasy overdoses. Both made a full recovery.
St Helens Council’s environment, regeneration, housing, culture and leisure overview and scrutiny panel were told last December that public health was keen to work with the licensing department and other partners to ensure any potential harm is “minimised” for the 2019 event.
Next week, a report outlining the organisational arrangements of the event will be discussed by the environment, regeneration, housing, culture and leisure overview and scrutiny panel.
The report outlines a number of safety measures that have been introduced for this year’s event, which takes place on September 7.
It says the organisers, In Demand Events, have again invested “significantly” in management services for the event, which include the police, security teams, admission systems, ID and weapons checks and enhanced medical provisions.
This year, co-ordinated medical provision will be provided by a number of suppliers on site, which will assist with the control and identification of any medical patterns or emergencies.
Other new measures include additional bespoke medical services; a North West Regional Ambulance Service officer who will liaise with the hospitals if required; an on-site private hire taxi operator who will provide an on demand service for event patrons as they leave the event; extended chill out areas; extended CCTV system and improved communication systems primarily through social media with regard to safe festival behaviour.
A spokesman for In Demand Events said: “Reminisce Festival value the safety and well being of our customers with the utmost priority at our events.
“Over the years we have worked hard in partnership with Merseyside Police, St Helens Council, St John Ambulance and responsible authorities to ensure that all safety measures possible are put into place during our event, which has grown in popularity year on year.
“We have a duty of care to every person on our site and we do everything possible to ensure that they feel safe and have access to excellent medical support throughout the event.
“The vast majority of our customers have a safe and enjoyable experience at Reminisce.
“We continually make improvements as we grow, under the guidance of the council, police and health services, and constantly strive to improve our operation in every way possible.”
Reminisce takes place from midday until 11pm on Saturday, September 7.
For more information, visit reminiscefestival.com