Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Telegraph and the Take Loads Of Drugs festival

The Telegraph reports the inquest into the death of Katie Jones:

Girl died after taking ecstasy at 'take a load of drugs' festival

The Take A Load Of Drugs Festival? I think I might have missed that one. But standfirst clarifies matters:
A family orientated girl died from an overdose of ecstasy at a music festival at which was billed in a promotional booklet as a place where people should "take a load of drugs".

Ah, so it wasn't a 'take load of drugs' festival, it was just a festival which was billed as for taking a load of drugs, was it?

You have to get quite a way through the story for the source of the eye-catching headline claim:
One of the bands performing at the festival appeared to encourage the use of drugs in a free festival booklet.

The band, Deathretri, wrote: "Don't just get pissed, take a load of drugs and miss the bands. Do all three."

So, yes, a silly thing for a band to say - but to imply, as the Telegraph appears to, that Kendal Calling, the festival in question, was some sort of substance-washed bacchanalia is equally silly. In fact, more silly, because the Telegraph are turning a court report into a tragic death into a sensationalised sideshow. The paper's report makes no attempt to connect a throwaway line in a corner of a promotional booklet and the very real death of a person; they might want to think about changing the headline.


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