Multi-agency partners want to ensure a safe event at the Belladrum Festival 2014

Multi-agency partners consisting of Police Scotland, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and the British Red Cross are seeking a safe and enjoyable event for those who are attending and working at the Belladrum Festival 2014.

The festival, which is now in its 11th anniversary year, takes place at Belladrum Estate, by Beauly, over the weekend of Friday 8th and Saturday 9th August and is expected to attract around 17,000 people daily.

The organisers and all agencies involved are keen to assure that all appropriate measures will be in place to maximise public safety and enjoyment of the event.

Police Scotland Event Commander, Chief Inspector Mark Mackay will lead the police operation at the festival. He said: "We will be employing our tried and tested community policing approach to local Summer Musical Festivals, with the focus of keeping people safe, however together with stewards we will take action as required to prevent disorder and antisocial or criminal behaviour which compromises safety or spoils the event for others.

"Belladrum is a family festival with large numbers of young people in attendance, therefore it is additionally important to drink responsibly and we will take appropriate action if we come across underage drinking. Festival-goers are reminded that the terms and conditions of purchased tickets clearly state that persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on entering the festival venue and at all times while attending the festival. Know the whereabouts of youngsters under your supervision and assist the police and other agencies in ensuring that no young person comes to any harm."

Keep Safe Festival advice is available on the Police Scotland website and will be displayed around the Belladrum site and provides practical information on personal safety:

  • Personal safety: stay with friends and family; stay in busy areas; stay alert.
  • Drug use: Don't take drugs or New Psychoactive Substances; there is no safe amount of drug to take; possession or supply of drugs will result in a criminal charge. 
  • Protecting valuables: guard against pickpockets; stay alert and only take items you will need. 
  • Anti-social behaviour: do not carry weapons; do not carry flares or any other form of pyrotechnic; respect local communities and residents. 
  • At the festival: ensure you have your ticket/wristband; follow the directions of police and stewards; know where your pick up and drop off points are; know which zone your tent is in. 
  • Travel safety: plan in advance; leave enough time for your journey; ensure you're not under the influence of alcohol from the night before. 
  • Contact the police: In an emergency dial 999; dial 101 for non-emergency matters; report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Chief Inspector Mackay concluded: "By following our Keep Safe Festival advice it will help to make the Belladrum Festival 2014 an enjoyable, memorable and safe experience for everyone and we all have a part to play in making sure this happens."

Debbie Stewart, co-ordinator for the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (HADP), said: "Our message to everyone attending this year's Belladrum festival is that we hope you have a great time, enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere.

"We urge you to eat well, drink plenty of water and stay safe. The best way to stay safe is to drink sensibly. You can pace yourself by drinking slowly, avoid mixing drinks, switch between alcohol and soft drinks or shift to lower strength of alcohol.

"Don't take unnecessary risks and avoid taking drugs. Substances like ecstasy and cocaine can cause dehydration and overheating, especially when mixed with alcohol and taken whilst dancing in warm temperatures. Also, just because a substance claims to be legal, it doesn't mean it is, and it doesn't mean it is safe. Many so called legal highs contain illegal substances and research chemicals that haven't been tested but are known to cause harm.

"If someone is unable to avoid taking drugs or alcohol sensibly; then make sure you know what you are taking, be aware of the amount you are taking and be aware of the risk of becoming ill or overdosing. Make sure you keep an eye on your friends. If you do notice someone becoming ill, please seek help straight away."

Lorraine Mann, NHS Highland senior health promotion specialist, said: "Remember to take a supply of condoms with you, even if you think you're not likely to need them. Things can change a lot over the course of a weekend. It may be quite difficult to get condoms once you're there. Condoms can protect women from getting pregnant and can protect everyone from getting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

"It is especially important during the warm summer months for festival goers to enjoy the sun safely. Avoid getting burnt by the sun by covering up or staying in the shade between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.

"Use sun screen to help prevent getting burnt, using at least a factor 15 and remember to re-apply regularly. Take extra care with children as their skin is delicate and keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water."
Anne Eadie, Events First Aid Services Manager with British Red Cross said: "The British Red Cross works very closely with its partners to ensure festival goers are as safe as possible. We want everyone's Belladrum experience to be safe and enjoyable.

"This summer has been one of the warmest for many years, but we would urge revellers to check out the forecast before going. It can get very cold at night, especially if it rains so bring something to keep you dry. We can't stress enough how important it is to drink plenty of water. Dehydration is something we witness a lot at festivals so don't let it spoil your weekend.

"If you don't feel well then make sure you tell a friend or go to one of the First Aid posts for help."
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager John MacDonald wants everyone to enjoy a fire free Belladrum.
He said: "First and foremost the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service hopes that everyone has a fun and safe experience at Belladrum 2014.

"With safety in mind there are few things we would like to remind festival goers. Tents can be 'gone in 60 seconds' and are particularly susceptible to fire so it is extremely important that tents are not pitched too closely together as this will prevent fire spreading from one tent to another.

"We urge people not to smoke or cook inside or close to tents and take care to ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished before disposing of them. Never use candles in or near a tent - torches are safer. It is also essential that all camping should be within designated areas ensuing that pathways and fire lanes are kept clear."

He added: "Camp fires are prohibited and if cooking you must do so in the designated barbecue areas. If under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please allow one of the many caterers to cook for you. Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer and disposable barbeques along with other fuel burning appliances give off this poisonous gas. Never take disposable barbeques into a tent or campervan even when they are cooling down. We would also remind people about the dangers associated with camping gas canisters if they are not used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

"Should any festival goers have to report an emergency and call 999 it is important that they give their exact location using key landmarks on the main site or the colour of the camping zone to help us respond effectively. Festival stewards and safety personnel are there to ensure the safety of everyone and I urge all festival goers to act responsibly and comply with the guidance provided. Enjoy the festival and stay safe."

Iain Mackay Resilience Adviser at the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "Anyone taking medication should let their friends know what it is and make sure that they bring enough with them to the festival. Everyone should keep hydrated, whether or not it's sunny and bring clothing for all conditions."

David Haas, Highland Council's Acting Head of Community and Democratic Engagement said: "Highland Council is pleased to work again with our multi-agency planning partners and the Belladrum event organisers to help deliver a successful festival for all to enjoy in a safe and friendly environment. The Council welcomes the positive profile and significant benefits to the City of Inverness and the wider Highlands that Belladrum brings to the region."

-Ends-

29 Jul 2014
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