Sun Peaks being proactive about drug use at Snowbombing music festival - InfoNews

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Sun Peaks being proactive about drug use at Snowbombing music festival

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Sun Peaks Resort
April 06, 2017 - 4:30 PM

SUN PEAKS - Thousands of people are convening on Sun Peaks near Kamloops for Snowbombing 2017, a popular European music festival being held this week for the first time in North America.

But a cloud is hovering over the fun-filled weekend, a cloud that begins with the letter 'F'. Sun Peaks tourism spokesperson Aidan Kelly says people from the United Kingdom and Europe have purchased tickets for the festival, and it's likely they may have never heard of fentanyl.

"We’ve really tried to be proactive on that side of things," Kelly says. "Folks coming from international (places) might not know about fentanyl in B.C... There’s a full plan, so that’s obviously something that was front and centre for us."

Sun Peaks has been reaching out via email to those who have purchased tickets, sending educational information on drug use. Kelly says along with the usual medical staff present at the ski resort, there will be a full medical team on hand 24 hours per day, all of whom will be equipped with naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug that can help temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

On the Snowbombing 2017 website, information is available for festival goers regarding the dangers of fentanyl.

"Drug-related deaths have become a very serious concern in the last year in B.C. due to the large increase in Fentanyl and opioid overdoses," the website states. "Fentanyl is a lot more powerful than other opioids, which makes the risk of accidental overdose much higher."

The website provides information on how toxic the opioid is and how it can be sold as other drugs.

"It is sometimes sold as Oxycontin, heroin, cocaine or other substances. People may be taking fentanyl and putting themselves at risk without even knowing it. We feel compelled to warn people who might potentially use these drugs of the increased danger, especially as they may be unaware of what they are taking."

Kelly says there will also be harm reduction tents on site. Kira Haug with ASK Wellness will be representing the outreach organization at Sun Peaks this week.

According to Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Doug Aird, the Alexa Bus will be at the event daily. The bus is a mobile, fully functioning drunk driving investigation tool. He says the bus will give police a highly visible presence at the event, while promoting positive RCMP interactions, protecting life and property and keeping the peace.

Aird says officers also hope to reduce alcohol and drug related offences, hold impaired driving check stops, conduct foot patrols, work with event security and enforce traffic related duties.


With RCMP officers, medical staff and Sun Peaks staff being proactive around the issue of fentanyl, Kelly says Sun Peaks is hoping this festival will play a part in putting the ski resort on the map for people around the world.

"We're expecting a busy weekend for sure," Kelly says.

The resort had a target of 3,000 visitors for the music festival but far exceeded that goal with about 4,000 people expected. Kelly says although this is usually the time of year ski season begins to wind down, the village is still a winter wonderland.

Kelly says since the Snowbombing event has such a large following overseas, some people will be coming to Sun Peaks for the first time and many may have never heard of the ski resort.

"It’s definitely got some international attention and exposure for Sun Peaks," Kelly says. "The vibe seems pretty strong for the event overall."

One of the most attractive parts of the event, Kelly says, is headliners like rapper Ludacris and artist Kaskade. He says the high caliber performances will have an almost "exclusive" feel.

"It’s something that you’d normally see at a festival with 40,000 to 50,000 people," Kelly says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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