Harm Reduction at Tall Tree: Taking The Safety Of Our People Very Seriously

The safety of our festival attendees is our #1 concern. Period. Lately, a lot of questions have been rolling in via social media and email about our harm reduction policies in light of BC’s Fentanyl crisis, and we would like to highlight the steps we are taking to keep our audience safe.

I sat down with Kaitlyn N, Tall Tree’s Harm Reduction Lead to walk through the questions that we’ve been receiving over the past few months, so that everyone is in the ‘know’ on harm reduction practices this year. – Em

Q: Anything new you are introducing to harm reduction?

A: This year we have had some exciting changes with the harm reduction team. In addition to welcoming back our returning volunteers who have past festival/harm reduction experience, we have also partnered with UVIC (pre-med, psychology, nursing, mental health and addictions) to make up the remaining bulk of our team. Volunteers have been formally trained in multiple areas around safety (medical and harm reduction) and are committed to working at keeping people safe up on Browns Mountain!

Q: Will there be drug testing onsite this year? 

A: Yes, there will be drug testing on site this year. We have upgraded our testing kits to include the full 8 reagent tests through DanceSafe and will also have options for Fentanyl specific testing if there are further concerns after initial testing. We will have a designated tent/site specific to providing drug testing services at this location, and there will also be options for education, and outreach workers to provide services and support if needed. 

**Drug testing is confidential**

Q: Aside from everyone on the harm reduction team carrying Naloxone, what other preventative measures will be employed?

A: Each of our harm reduction team members are required to have their basic first aid level C and have their certificates in naloxone administration. In regards to preventative measures around safe substance use we are also providing free drug testing services (as noted above), information around drug combinations and interactions as well as peer-to-peer outreach services throughout the grounds to answer any questions or concerns. We will also be providing sexual health supplies at no cost. 

Q: How does the Field Hospital (onsite), Harm Reduction and Security work together?

A: Harm reduction services are partnered with both medical and security teams to ensure consistency and collaboration of safety services. Harm reduction team members will be available throughout the day and evening/early morning for services and the Harm Reduction Director (thats me!) is available 24 hours for support/services/questions/comments. 

Here is a list of all the services that Harm reduction will be available to offer at Tall Tree this year :

First Aid
– rehydration supplies and basic event needs
– basic first aid
– re-connections and information
– peer-to-peer outreach to camp sites, stages, and high volume areas
– a safe-place/sanctuary for individuals who may be experiencing negative reactions to rebalance
– sexual health information and supplies
– drug use and drug combination information and support
– onsite mental health, drug/addiction, and incident assessments
– Drug testing
– Overdose response/crisis management team
– Intensive Incident assessment, support, and transportation for increased service needs

Tall Tree’s Field Hospital:

If you’ve attended Tall Tree before, you will be well aware that we have a full-service field hospital operating 24/7 with an incredible team of professionals who treat everything from minor scrapes to serious ailments. The hospital is located directly behind the Main Stage on the main service road.

Roving First Aid/Harm Reduction:

Yes, we have an amazing task force that cruises through the festival site throughout the day and night. Make sure to give them a high-five, because they are awesome.

Security:

Our Security Team is there to help you. They work directly with our medical team and harm reduction staff on all calls. If you need help, please flag them down.