Drugs run rampant in the EDM scene, this is not new information.
It is critical to test your substances.
Recognizing how critical this is, The Bunk Police, founded in 2011, are working to make the scene safer with the distribution of test kits, and a text messaging service, appropriately named the “BunkBot.”
According to the companies’ website, “BunkBot is a deceptively simple but, incredibly powerful communication tool. When you text “bunk” to 555-888, you will be able to follow various events. After you follow an event you will be sent a text when we, 1) set up and start distributing kits on site, 2) are shut down by security and are re-opening elsewhere, 3) find a particularly dangerous substance.”
The service acts as an instant alert system which can operate at an event where there is limited cell service. When The Bunk Police, or an event attendee, have a test come back positive for fentanyl, everyone signed up for the service are immediately informed. A thorough description of the substance, packaging, etc. is sent out.
The company hopes the service allows for word to spread rapidly and [hopefully] stop any large-scale overdose event which may occur.
“The BunkBot is a pretty big threat to the festivals themselves, because now they know they can’t just shut us down. If they were to shut us down, the entire festival would know about it, and we would also pop up again in another location,” Adam Auctor, the CEO of the company, said. The BunkBot has been used at Bonnaroo, both weekends of Electric Forest, and Camp Bisco so far. Bonnaroo was not as successful as Auctor had anticipated. According to his post on Reddit, the company was able to operate successfully for about 36 hours and distributed a couple hundred test kits.
“The BunkBot system seems to function very well (except for the fact that it can be used by security to find us). Overall, I’m keeping positive and reluctantly calling this a success as we were able to distribute what we could in a short time, test our BunkBot, and leave without having thousands of dollars worth of test kits confiscated like last time.”
After Bonnaroo, The Bunk Police traveled to Rothbury, MI. for both weekends of Electric Forest. This was the companies’ ninth time, (including Rothbury ’09), attending and distributing test kits on-site at the festival.
After being shut down early on the first weekend, and removed from the grounds at the second weekend last year, Auctor was prepared. Auctor had a GoPro strapped to his chest, which was powered on as soon as security was present, and he hired a journalist to ask security pressing questions. Security did not end up shutting operations down during either weekend, and the amount of kits distributed nearly tripled in comparison to 2017. More on what went down both weekends of Electric Forest this year can be found here.
“The BunkBot has had a huge impact for the company. It has helped people find us at festivals and allowed for us to find two [fentanyl] dealers at Electric Forest, and several [fentanyl] dealers at Camp Bisco,” Auctor said.