The cancellation of occasions because of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Australia’s music trade onerous, with reviews of losses as much as A$200 million.
However music festivals have shortly tailored. First, they moved to dwell streaming. Now drive-in music festivals are popping up throughout the globe.
In response to the pandemic, the world’s first drive-in rave passed off in Germany in Could. Australia adopted go well with with Airwaves on the Sunshine Coast earlier this month. The Drive-in, a sequence of pop-up gigs in Melbourne, was additionally deliberate for this month however has now been cancelled.
Whereas drive-in festivals enable bodily distancing, they convey new challenges for promoters, police and well being employees.
Individuals will likely be driving to and from venues the place alcohol is obtainable, and in some circumstances the place illicit medicine are used.
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Danger of drink and drug driving
Usually, festival-goers can cut back dangers of harms from alcohol or illicit medicine by not driving to and from the occasion. And a few festivals are multi-day occasions the place individuals keep in a single day, to allow them to plan to not be intoxicated for the drive dwelling.
However drive-in festivals require individuals to convey their very own automotive. And they should drive dwelling instantly afterwards.
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The Victorian code of follow for safer music festivals explicitly says alcohol- and drug-affected individuals must be strongly discouraged from driving.
Though legally you may have small quantities of alcohol in your blood whereas driving, the important thing message is to not drive when you have had any alcohol in any respect.
It is because most individuals can not precisely estimate their blood alcohol focus after consuming. And people who find themselves riskier drivers are inclined to underestimate their blood alcohol ranges.
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Alcohol and different drug testing
One choice is to conduct roadside exams for alcohol and illicit medicine as individuals depart drive-in festivals. Police already do that routinely at festivals.
There may be good proof alcohol breath testing is efficient in decreasing street crashes and deaths. Breath testing might stop street incidents after drive-in festivals in the identical manner it has decreased incidents among the many normal inhabitants.
Blood alcohol testing detects present ranges of alcohol. The upper your blood alcohol focus, the extra impaired you’re behind the wheel.
However illicit drug testing is just not a direct measure of impairment on the time of testing. It solely signifies whether or not you might have used a drug throughout the window of the take a look at. Some medicine will be detected within the system for a number of days after use. Drivers might take a look at optimistic however not be affected by medicine on the time.
There are additionally questions in regards to the reliability of the exams and little or no proof roadside drug testing is related to fewer crashes.
What else can we do to cut back harms?
Peer organisations, like DanceWize, present hurt discount info and outreach at music festivals. They supply a secure area for individuals to sit back out, chat with friends or ask questions on medicine and psychological well being considerations.
However throughout a drive-in competition, individuals want to take a seat of their automobiles. So there may be much less alternative for them to entry outreach companies within the common manner.
Occasion-based hurt discount companies like DanceWize have already responded to COVID-19 by sharing hurt discount recommendation by way of Fb Reside occasions and Instagram.
On-line hurt discount communities which were working for years, like Bluelight, and more moderen digital communities, like Sesh Security, might present hurt discount info particularly aimed toward drive-in competition goers, by way of their present digital channels.
Often at a music competition, attendees are standing, dancing or transferring across the competition floor. So, safety, outreach employees and different patrons can look out for individuals who might have been affected by alcohol or different medicine and take them for medical or first assist remedy.
However with drive-in festivals, there may be much less incidental alternative to direct individuals to assist.
So promoters might distribute details about the place to entry hurt discount info, and about out there medical and first assist assist, as individuals drive into the competition.
Drug checking permits individuals to anonymously submit drug samples for forensic evaluation to allow them to make knowledgeable selections about what they’re about to take. Counselling can be supplied.
We all know drug checking is efficient in decreasing harms at music festivals, however it’s not out there in Australia exterior particular trials.
When the coroner checked out minimize drug deaths at music festivals, the proof gained. However what occurs subsequent?
Operating a drug checking service from a drive-in competition in COVID-19 instances could be more difficult, however not unimaginable, by utilizing expertise to ship suggestions through textual content or app.
Competition-goers might chat by textual content with the drug checking group to debate their particular drug-use historical past, circumstances, and the outcomes of the evaluation. However there could be much less anonymity than a common drug checking service.
Promoters, police, well being employees and younger individuals
Though smaller music venues are slowly reopening in some states, giant music festivals are prone to stay closed for a while. So drive-in festivals may sound interesting.
However they throw up particular dangers promoters want to handle to make sure the most secure doable surroundings for individuals wanting to entry COVID-safe dwell music venues.
So promoters have to work intently with police, well being employees and younger individuals themselves to successfully handle a few of these extra dangers.
Yow will discover hurt discount info at Bluelight, DanceWize Victoria and NSW and the International Drug Survey. If you’re anxious about your consuming or drug use, or need help to make modifications, you may name the Nationwide Alcohol and Different Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015; chat on-line with a counsellor at CounsellingOnline; speak to your GP about seeing a psychologist or counsellor; or strive Whats up Sunday Morning, a web based group of individuals actively altering their alcohol consumption.
Nicole Lee works as a guide within the alcohol and different drug sector and a psychologist in non-public follow. She has beforehand been awarded funding by Australian and state governments, NHMRC and different our bodies for analysis and analysis into drug prevention and remedy. She is a member of board of administrators of Whats up Sunday Morning and volunteers for The Loop Australia.
Monica Barratt receives funding from Australian (Nationwide Well being and Medical Analysis Council, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Nationwide Centre for Scientific Analysis into Rising Medicine) and worldwide (US Nationwide Institutes of Well being, NZ Marsden Fund) funders. She has not too long ago performed commissioned analysis for the NSW Coroner's Workplace, the WA Psychological Well being Fee and the Victorian Division of Well being and Human Companies. Monica additionally volunteers for not-for-profit hurt discount organisations: The Loop Australia and Bluelight.org