Nova Scotia

Evolve Music Festival has 'best year yet' with few drug overdoses: organizer

Organizer says early reports suggest this year was safer than previous years, but drug-testing kits could have prevented some of the overdoses.

Drug-testing kits not available due to insurance problems

The Evolve Music and Awareness Festival has been held in Antigonish, N.S., since 2000. The festival organizer says this is one of the safest years yet for drug overdoses. (Chris Smith/Evolve)

The organizer of the Evolve Music and Awareness Festival claims festival-goers had one of the safest years yet in terms of drug overdoses.

Overdoses are an annual problem at the festival held each year in a field near Antigonish. Festival producer Jonas Colter estimates this year six people were taken to hospital over the weekend. 

"All in all, my feedback from my team of paramedics and security is that it was our best year yet, but that being said even one person OD'ing is tragic, and it's saddening," he said. 

Colter believes there would have been fewer overdoses if he'd been able to carry out plans to offer free drug-testing kits.

Last week, Evolve cancelled plans to distribute the kits in order to secure liability insurance.