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Have a safe and enjoyable festival season

Legal highs and laughing gas will not be tolerated at two Essex music festivals, Essex County Council, Trading Standards, Chelmsford City Council and Essex Police are warning.

Following a tragic death caused by legal highs at last year’s Brownstock Festival, agencies are stepping up checks and patrols against legal highs and laughing gas – the popular name for nitrous oxide, at both the V and Brownstock festivals.

The aim of the checks and patrols is to stop anyone trying to sell legal highs or laughing gas at the festivals. Anyone caught with legal highs or laughing gas will be ejected from the festival and their drugs will be confiscated by the police.

Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, Cllr Roger Walters, said: “So called legal highs are extremely dangerous because there is nothing to regulate what they are made from. Some contain illegal drugs or can lead to serious medical emergencies and even death.

“I want festival-goers to have fun but not to take a risk with either so called legal highs or nitrous oxide which can also result in serious side effects, especially when combined with alcohol.”

Chelmsford City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Councillor Ian Grundy, said: “We are working with partners, and have been communicating with Maztec, the organisers of the V Festival, to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time during the festival season, but to make people aware of how dangerous these legal highs can be.”

Essex Police Chief Superintendent, Simon Williams said, “We would like to remind festival-goers that legal highs will not be tolerated at V Festival.  If anyone is found selling these products, they will be prosecuted.” 

Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Essex Police, the Essex Drug and Alcohol Team (EDAAT), the Essex Drug and Alcohol Partnership and Essex Trading Standards are working closely together to educate the public, particularly young and vulnerable people, about the risks of so called Novel Psychoactive Substances. 

“I know that they will continue to be very active in examining substances sold as so called ‘legal highs’, and will take action to ensure that the law is enforced.  I strongly support partnership work to educate people of all ages about the risks of taking substances whose contents they may not be fully aware of.

“I hope everyone attending festivals such as V follows the Essex Police advice to ensure they have both a safe and an enjoyable experience.”

Donna Martin, Substance Misuse Trainer for the Drug and Alcohol Partnership, said: “Just because something says it is legal doesn’t mean it is safe.

“Good information, advice and education is key in order for communities of Essex to make healthy and informed choices. I strongly urge festival-goers this summer to take the advice that legal highs could at best ruin your festival experience and at worst be fatal to you or your friends.”

The terms and conditions of the V and Brownstock festivals, state that legal highs, the popular name for new psychoactive substances, are banned and anyone found selling or supplying them will be ejected from the festival and the substances confiscated.

If you or anyone in your family want to know more about legal highs or to find support then please visit and


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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police

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