“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Mass Gathering Medicine Interest Group (MGMIG) at the University of British Columbia, are convening a group of multi-disciplinary experts and stakeholders for a 1½ day meeting in Vancouver, BC, on January 19th and 20th, 2015.
With a focus on alcohol and drug-related harms, the purpose of the meeting is to identify lessons learned, seek consensus on best practices, identify areas of controversy and delineate research gaps. These discussions will ultimately inform development of recommendations aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to alcohol and drug-related harms at Canadian music festivals.
The participants in this initiative are international experts from a variety of professional backgrounds and are affiliated with a broad range of stakeholder organizations. Invitees for this meeting are involved in aspects of the design, planning, and permitting of music festivals, as well as the creation and operationalization of security, public health, harm reduction, safety, and emergency response plans.
Finite funding means that we can’t invite everyone we know to speak on the issues, but we have attempted to assemble a group with representation across Canada, from the US, and from disciplines spanning event producers, security and policing, public health, injury/illness prevention, harm reduction, emergency management, on-site emergency response, ambulance services and more.
We are looking forward to what we hope will be the first of many conversations that will advance safety at music festivals. We’ll be sure to share what we learn from each other. Stay tuned!