The security team at Shambhala is reeling after one of their own was drugged on the final morning of the five-day festival held in Salmo.
On Monday morning a security guard was handed a sealed bottle of water while working at the Fractal Forest. The bottle contained a high concentration of GHB and LSD, according to a statement released by Barry Wilding, director of public safety,
“The guard was rushed to our medical facility where she received acute medical care. If not for our medical team, we are not certain what the outcome might have been. Suffice to say, they saved her life,” he said.
Wilding has worked in security at Shambhala for 13 years and during that time guards have dealt with matters involving weapons, drug traffickers and gangsters. Assault and verbal abuse happens, he said.
“And so much more that goes unnoticed,” Wilding said. “We accept that as part of our job and our responsibility.”
Being dosed while on duty — “doing their utmost to keep people safe” — is deplorable and the organization worries it may have been intentional.
“While not everyone may appreciate the work they do or understand the complexities of security and law enforcement, intentionally dosing a guard, or anyone for that matter, is unacceptable,” said Wilding.
No one should be unknowingly drugged, said Shambhala communications’ Britz Bitz via Facebook.
She said it has happened to her and was a “terrible” experience. She also said the incident doesn’t reflect a general occurrence at the festival.
“As someone who’s been going for 11 years, the love is constantly present. This incident is in no way representative of the overall Shambhala crowd,” said Britz.
“I know, and my guards know, that 99.9% of the people who attend Shambhala are good souls and would never condone such an act. It is the 99.9% that keeps us coming back year after year. From management to staff to patrons, we have always had your back. Now it’s time for you to have ours,” he said.
The matter has been reported to the RCMP who is investigating as the festival organization looks for help as well.
Anyone with information can contact Salmo RCMP or Wilding at email@example.com