Evolve Festival organizer predicts fewer hospital trips than previous years

Evolve Festival organizer predicts fewer hospital trips than previous years

The organizer of this year's Evolve Festival in Beersville, N.B., said on Sunday the weekend has been great so far.

But that doesn't mean there haven't been incidents. Jonas Colter said a couple of people were non-responsive at the festival and had to be treated with Narcan — a nasal spray version of naloxone.

"They came to and were taken to the hospital. It doesn't mean it's fentanyl. I don't know if there is any fentanyl there," he said.

"Everyone is saying 'fentanyl, fentanyl, fentanyl.' But, I feel if there was a drug dealer on site selling pills with fentanyl, there would be multiple people going down instead of just isolated circumstances."

Colter said he expects there to be about half of the hospital transports this year compared to previous years, especially when the event was held in Antigonish.

He explained there are more outreach stations with harm reduction teams helping people by providing water and earplugs,  and giving support to those having a tough time dealing with the effects of psychedelic drug use.

Colter added that the New Brunswick site is near a wooded area that can provide shade whereas the Antigonish site was in an open field without protection from the sun.

This is the 18th year the festival has been held. Besides medical personnel, there was also a heavy police and security presence with officers checking vehicles as they entered the festival and patrolling the grounds. 

Colter has been with the festival for nine or 10 years, he said. Some of the bands scheduled to play on Sunday include Arrested Development and Too Many Zooz.