Also, please understand that harm reduction is being systematically shut down at music festivals across the U.S. and it’s very hard to see where the opposition is coming from in some cases. We apologize if we stepped on unnecessary toes in posting on other subreddits.
We’ve been attending Bonnaroo since 2011 in order to make substance test kits available to attendees. For the first few years, we were allowed to operate on the grounds and were welcomed by security and staff. We even filmed a large chunk of our documentary “What’s In My Baggie?” at Bonnaroo in 2014.
Last year, we introduced our BUNKBOT system there and kicked off a massive following of over 10,000 subscribers (you can find a description of the system and instructions for signing up at the bottom of this post). Through those subscribers we were able to send out fentanyl alerts at Electric Forest, Camp Bisco, Lost Lands, and Imagine. At Bonnaroo, however, we were confronted by eight “Bonnaroo narcotics” agents (these are not police… they’re “undercover security guards”) and were thrown off of the property after having our pictures taken. We barely talked our way out of them confiscating over a thousand test kits. Here’s last year’s summary of what went down.
With the massive uptick in overdoses nationwide due to fentanyl adulteration – you would think we’d be welcomed with open arms. It seems that money and image are more important than rational safety policies as events systematically remove and ignore harm reduction organizations such as ourselves and Dancesafe.
This is particularly outrageous because events like Bonnaroo in many countries not only encourage drug-related harm reduction programs such as ours… THEY FUND THEM! Many events in the U.K. now employ The Loop to bring an entire laboratory on to the grounds at the expense of the event itself. At Shambala up in B.C. Canada – the promoters have purchased tens of thousands in laboratory equipment to insure the safety of their patrons.
Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe the way we feel about this situation, so we’re changing our tactics yet again and we need your help to accomplish our goal of getting test kits into the hands of those who need them.
IT’S TIME TO STOP SNEAKING AROUND.
This year we plan to make ourselves as visible as possible and will be organizing a peaceful yet firm protest in order bring attention to the fact that harm reduction is not only necessary, but worth fighting for. We need as many supporters as we possibly can to come assemble in a display of solidarity against these greedy and cowardly corporate entities. They have the power to create a safer environment for YOU, but they CHOOSE not to.
Test kit based harm reduction programs are welcomed with open arms at events like Bonnaroo in The U.K., Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Italy among many others. UKRAINE even has festival based drug checking!
Why are we so far behind the times here in the states? Are we willing to accept this, year after year, so that corporate entities like LiveNation and Insomniac can pretend that they’re running clean and family friendly events? People are going to do drugs at music festivals, regardless of how strict searches are, and they don’t deserve to risk injury or death because they made the choice to do so. These HARMS can be SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED.
***MEET US UNDER THE CLOCK TOWER (DISCO BALL) AT 2PM ON BOTH THURSDAY and FRIDAY.***
We have made hundreds of protest signs for you to hold with us. All you have to do is bring yourself.
The signs have two simple messages:
- Drug Test Kits Save Lives
- This Event Bans Life-Saving Services
This protest will not only serve to show Bonnaroo and other events that their lack of care is unacceptable, it will also serve as a place for you to pick up any test kits you may need. We will form the protest in a circle, creating a safe space in the middle for us to distribute fentanyl test kits as well as our normal reagent kits.
PLEASE SIGN UP FOR BUNKBOT TO RECEIVE ALERTS AND UPDATES. IT’S SUPER EASY.
BUNKBOT is a deceptively simple yet incredibly powerful communication tool.
To start, just text “bunk” to 555-888 and you can sign up to receive texts when:
- We set up at the event(s) of your choice and start distributing kits on site.
- We are shut down by security and re-open elsewhere.
- We find an adulterated or otherwise dangerous substance.
BUNKBOT serves as an instantaneous substance alert system that can operate at any event, even with limited cellular service or permission from the event. As soon as a particularly dangerous substance is submitted, everyone who has signed up with BUNKBOT for that event will be informed immediately via text with a description of the substance / packaging / dealer / etc.. This allows word to spread quickly with the goal of stopping any large-scale overdose event that may be occurring.
The BUNKBOT system relies on users reporting adulterated or otherwise dangerous substance – in order to do so, simply text as much info about the substance / tests performed as possible to 555-888. If you’re not already signed up, text “bunk” to that number first before you start sending us info.
Please send the event name, location, type of drug, type of test kit(s) used, and pictures of the drug / baggie / dealer / test results. We are not able to send out a text alert for every report we receive as the messaging charges stack up quickly and we do not want to create a panic amongst attendees. We will, however, send out alerts for particularly dangerous substances and especially FENTANYL.
Please, help us step forward and join the rest of the planet in understanding that drugs are going to be taken at music events and that those who chose to partake are humans worth care and concern just like everyone.
Thanks for listening and see you on The Farm.
Founder – The Bunk Police / BUNKBOT