The countdown to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is under way, and the message for festival goers is “Enjoy yourselves but keep safe.”
Key warnings issued today by from multi-agency partners include the avoidance of naked flames around tents and ensuring that people who depend on their medication take sufficient supplies.
Belladrum, near Beauly, takes place on August 8 and 9 and will attract around 17,000 people daily.
John MacDonald, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service group manager with prevention and protection, said: “We urge people not to smoke or cook inside or close to tents and take care to ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished before disposing of them. “Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
“If under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please allow one of the many caterers to cook for you.
“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and disposable barbecues along with other fuel burning appliances give off this poisonous gas.”
He added that when reporting an emergency and calling 999 it is important to give an exact location using key landmarks and stating the colour of the camping zone.
Jim Quate, area service manager for Scottish Ambulance Service in Ross-shire, said: “But if taking prescription medication, particularly for asthma and diabetes, it is important that people have enough medication to last them during the festival.”
Chief Inspector Mark Mackay, Police Scotland Event Commander, said that police will be employing the community policing approach used at local summer music festivals but will also work with stewards to tackle anti social behaviour.
He added: “Belladrum is a family festival with large numbers of young people in attendance, therefore it is additionally important to drink responsibly and we will take appropriate action if we come across underage drinking.”
Debbie Stewart, co-ordinator for the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership said: “Don’t take unnecessary risks and avoid taking drugs. Substances like ecstasy and cocaine can cause dehydration and overheating, especially when mixed with alcohol and taken whilst dancing in warm temperatures. Also, just because a substance claims to be legal, it doesn’t mean it is, and it doesn’t mean it is safe. Many so called legal highs contain illegal substances and research chemicals that haven’t been tested but are known to cause harm.”
Lorraine Mann, NHS Highland senior health promotion specialist, also issued a warning about the weather and the importance of wearing sun cream when the sun is strongest, and she urged festivalgoers to tak.