Leeds festival: 17-year-old girl dies in suspected drug overdose as teenage boy arrested

Teenager in custody after being arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs

Conrad Duncan
Saturday 24 August 2019 13:25 BST
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A teenage girl has died at Leeds Festival of a suspected drugs overdose.

West Yorkshire Police were called to the festival site following a report that the 17-year-old girl, who is from the Oldham area, had died in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A teenage boy, who is also 17 and from the Oldham area, is currently in custody after being arrested on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs.

Leeds Festival’s Police Commander, Superintendent Matt Davison said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the girl who has died.

“We have family liaison officers in place supporting them and they have asked that their privacy is respected at this extremely difficult time.”

Mr Davison added that the exact cause of death is yet to be established but information indicates that the girl had taken “a combination of drugs”.

The music festival, which is held at Bramham Park, West Yorkshire, is headlined this year by Foo Fighters, The 1975, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, the event’s organiser, described the death as a “tragedy”.

“To say we are deeply saddened about this tragedy is an understatement,” Mr Benn said.

“At this point, we implore the media to respect the family’s wishes of privacy at this devastating time.”

He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to remind anyone attending Reading and Leeds Festival that there is no safe way to take prohibited drugs and there are no safe prohibited drugs.”

On the event’s website, organisers state that the festival “does not condone the use of drugs”, adding: “It is illegal to buy, sell or take drugs. Drugs enforcement laws are as applicable on-site as anywhere else in the UK.”

Officers have urged anyone with “any concerns for either themselves or others at the festival” to contact on-site staff or seek urgent medical assistance.

On Friday, police warned of a collection of “high strength pills”, known as Donkey Kong, Trump and Skype pills, which had been found in circulation on the festival site.

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