Evolve music festival making changes to improve safety
2016 festival will run for three days rather than four, drug-testing kits may be permitted
The 2016 Evolve music festival is making a number of changes to improve the safety of the event, including having the festival run for one day less and not having performances run as long into the overnight hours, says organizer Jonas Colter.
The festival, which will feature some 100 acts on five stages, will be spread over three days, instead of four like last year, he said.
The acts will play until 4 a.m. instead of until noon, and until 1 a.m. on the final day.
Plans to resume drug testing
Colter is hoping the festival will be able to offer drug testing on site.
"We couldn't have the drug-testing kit last year, but other festivals in Canada did. What I found out is that it was done under the umbrella of a medical supervisor that was saying, 'This is best medical practice,'" he said.
Colter says Maureen Allen, the emergency services director at St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish, will be creating an operation plan for the festival. As part of that, she'll crunch numbers to make sure there are enough nurses, paramedics and ambulances available at appropriate sites during the event, which is expected to attract 5,000 young people.
Dylan Jonathan Avery Champion, 21, of Summerside, died at Evolve last year. Testing showed, however, that his death was from natural causes and he did not have drugs in his system.
Colter said the event will have some big names that will draw more festival goers, but he could not give out details.
"No contracts have been signed. But we do have verbal confirmation," said Colter.
He said the budget — about $1 million — will remain the same.
The festival will run from July 8-10 and early bird tickets for the event are on sale now.