Squamish Music Festival goers checked for drugs and alcohol
Extra security brought in after deaths at B.C.'s Boonstock, Pemberton festivals, Toronto's Veld Music Festival
RCMP are out in force and more than 500 security guards are on hand checking every bag for drugs and alcohol as the Squamish Music Festival gets underway today.
Crews who formerly worked for the Vancouver Olympic committee have also been brought in to deal with traffic and undercover security guards have been hired to patrol the festival grounds.
Headline acts at the festival this year are Bruno Mars, Eminem and Arcade Fire.
Festival director Paul Runnals says officials are prepared for all emergencies. Eight full medical tents have been set up for the 16,000 concert goers expected to attend the festival.
Deaths and dozens of drug overdoses at summer music festivals prompted B.C.'s coroner's office to issue a warning to practise safe consumption of party drugs this weekend.
- BOONSTOCK | B.C. festivalgoer dies of suspected drug overdose
- PEMBERTON | Nick Phongsavath, 21, found dead at B.C. festival
- VELD | Toronto police focus on 'party drugs' after 2 festival deaths
Health officials and emergency responders in Penticton, B.C., were overwhelmed last weekend after one person died and 90 concertgoers at the Boonstock Music Festival were hospitalized for drug overdoses.
Lynn Tolocka, a 24-year-old woman from Leduc, Alta., died from a suspected overdose.
In Toronto, police identified two types of pills linked to overdoses at the Veld Music Festival there this past weekend.
Barb McLintock with the B.C. Coroner's Service warned festival goers not to trust their drug dealer and pointed out nine people may be fine after consuming a drug that could be fatal to the 10th person.
She says people consuming drugs should have other people around them at all times.
The weather forecast for this weekend for the Squamish Music Festival is supposed to be hot and dry. McLintock says Heat and dehydration will exacerbate the effects of party drugs.
With files from the CBC's Richard Zussman