An investigation by TheFestivals has found 35 people were arrested on suspicion of drug dealing at Leeds Festival this year, with almost all of them caught with a stash of cocaine or MDMA. Only one person was arrested for selling ket and while six were accused of selling cannabis, four of those were also selling cocaine or MDMA.
One person was arrested on suspicion of supplying crack cocaine to Leeds Fest attendees and was released under investigation. Two were arrested for possession of LSD with intent to supply and both were released with an adult caution.
We can also reveal 1,609 ecstasy pills and 728 grams of MDMA were seized by West Yorkshire Police during the festival, which they’re still keeping hold of “for evidence and testing”. They’ve also come away with 350 grams of cocaine, 705 grams of ketamine and a hefty 2.4KG of weed. This includes any drugs left in amnesty bins at the festival gates.
Almost all of those brought in on suspicion of dealing were initially arrested on suspicion of ‘possession with intent to supply a class A/B substance’ then released under investigation. Some were released with a caution, including one who was in possession of MDMA, ketamine and cannabis.
The Leeds figures were disclosed to TheFestivals by West Yorkshire Police under the Freedom of Information Act following a request made back in the summer. Unfortunately, Thames Valley Police refused to provide the same info for Reading Festival, telling us: “To retrieve the data you are requesting will require a manual review of all reports made with a location equal to ‘Reading Rock Festival’.”
Thanks to The Tab, we know police seized over 3,300 ecstasy pills at Boomtown this year, over twice as many as at Leeds. However, they seized much less MDMA, cocaine, ketamine and weed, with over five times more cannabis seized at Leeds than at Boomtown.
Jess Clayton, Force Drugs Co-ordinator for West Yorkshire Police, told TheFestivals: “The potential consequences of taking illegal substances, both at festivals and across our wider night-time economy, is well documented. Particularly when mixing different types of drugs and drinking alcohol, it can prove to be a fatal cocktail. We continue to work hard alongside our partners to warn of these dangers, as well as promoting the support networks available.
“Supplying drugs can also have a significant impact upon an individual’s future and we highlight this message to discourage individuals from becoming involved. It is, however, a crime that we take extremely seriously and we will always pursue those who commit such offences to the detriment of our local communities.”
Leeds Festival organisers have been contacted for comment.
Last month, Liam Gallagher revealed he’ll be headlining Leeds and Reading in August 2020. Organisers said: “Your first Reading/Leeds Festival 2020 headliner is none other than the legendary, Liam Gallagher. The former Oasis frontman will be blessing your ears with songs from his two solo albums, ‘As You Were’ and ‘Why Me? Why Not.’ while also throwing in a host of Oasis classics for good measure.”
Liam has also announced a massive homecoming show at Manchester’s Heaton Park, set to take place the night before the park hosts Parklife Festival.