Shambhala Music Festival runs Aug. 10 to 13 at Salmo River Ranch. File photo

B.C. music festival invests in drug-testing tech

Salmo’s Shambhala Music Festival donated $10K to help purchase an FTIR Spectrometer

A West Kootenay music festival has invested money into new tech aimed at keeping its revelers from overdosing.

Shambhala Music Festival, which opens Friday near Salmo, announced last week it had donated $10,000 to complete a two-year fundraising campaign for an FTIR Spectrometer, which cost $42,000 and can detect ingredients in substances.

The tech is owned and operated by the AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS), which has been providing drug checking at the festival for 16 years.

“Shambhala has supported ANKORS in this fundraising effort to obtain an FTIR Spectrometer for our community and to use at Shambhala every step of the way,” said ANKORS drug checking co-ordinator Chloe Sage in a statement.

“After two years we will finally see this instrument in action. I’m very excited to add the FTIR to our harm reduction service this year at Shambhala.”

A study earlier this year by ANKORS and Interior Health Authority found fentanyl in over two dozen drug tests at last year’s Shambhala.

Fentanyl was responsible for 81 per cent of the over 1,420 overdose deaths in B.C. last year.

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Fentanyl found in over two dozen samples at Shambhala last year

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