PHOTOS of the drunken aftermath of ‘Live in Colour’ have taken social media by storm over the course of the weekend. The event, which was held at Pigeon Island, began at midnight and proceeded into the wee hours of Sunday August 18th. Photos revealing a plethora of intoxicated patrons lying like corpses on the ground have been raising major public concerns. Eddison Layne, Public Relations Officer of the National Youth Council (NYC), said that the NYC will not stand for the kind of behaviour that is portrayed in the photos. Several reports, criminal in nature, were also made in the wake of ‘Live in Colour’. One individual was stabbed during an altercation at the event and is currently admitted at the Victoria Hospital.
The NYC held a press conference on Monday August 19th to address the issue. In relation to the photos Layne stated, “We directly see a link between those photos and a major social crisis. It is our understanding that young people who attended that event were heavily intoxicated and were unable to function properly. This is in fact the sign of a social crisis; it’s getting to the worst of the worst and we’re seeing that more and more young people in St Lucia are being seen as a market for the sale of alcohol rather than the creative and inspirational individuals that they are.”
In reference to the intoxicated persons seen in the photos, Layne asked, “Are we sure that all of these individuals were over the age of eighteen?” Layne, who said that youth was being targeted as a market for alcohol, has called upon the authorities to investigate whether the young persons who attended the event were of the legal age to consume alcohol. Alcohol he said, was “directed toward young people, our young population and we cannot have it, it cannot happen.” He said that the authorities had a responsibility to keep young people safe during events such as ‘Live in Colour’.
Layne said not enough was being done to counter excessive alcohol consumption. He said that it was inadequate for suppliers of intoxicating beverages to advertise slogans which read ‘Drink Responsibly’. Layne stated that healthcare, which is already under “tremendous pressure”, must now cater to individuals who are admitted to hospital for alcoholism or complications arising from heavy alcohol consumption. “We cannot continue to profit off of the health of our young people,” he reiterated. He concluded by suggesting, “At events that young people are going to attend, there should be no alcohol; alcohol consumption cannot be made rampant. We can look for alternatives.” His alternatives included the selling of various food items and smoothies.
Meanwhile, at a press conference which was held at Police Headquarters at Chesterfield, Ann Joseph, Press Relations Officer of the RSLPF, said that persons were asked to confirm their ages by presenting their Identification Cards at ‘Live in Colour’. She stated, “We have had no reported cases of minors being at these activities.” She said the fire service was able to handle the significant number of reports relating to excessive drinking. Joseph, who said that public drunkenness was an offence, emphasised that every individual had a responsibility to drink in moderation.
She added that the majority of alcohol which was consumed at ‘Live in Colour’ was not supplied by promoters of the event but was brought in by patrons. Joseph went on to caution persons who indulge in excessive drinking. “If you drink excessively you put not only yourself at a health risk… but you also put yourself at risk of becoming a target for criminal entities; its easier to rob somebody who is passed out and drunk for instance,” she further stated. “Most of the complaints that I saw on social media were in relation to excessive drinking, and if you as an individual frequenting an activity are not responsible and don’t take ownership of your consumption of alcohol, then you create an environment where there is additional responsibility not just for the police, but patrons as well.”
As far as human safety was concerned at the event, Joseph said that there were over forty police officers in uniform at the event, plain clothes officers as well as senior officers. She also said there were two mobile police patrol units present.