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Danish festival to allow smoking despite dry conditions

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Danish festival to allow smoking despite dry conditions
Guests at Smukfest in 2017. Photo: Sarah Christine Nørgaard/Ritzau Scanpix
15:45 CEST+02:00
The Smukfest festival, which is located in a beech forest near Danish town Skanderborg, is to allow smoking when it takes place in August.

The event will thereby not be following the example of the Swedish festival Visfestival Holmöns, which banned smoking due to dry conditions.

Sweden is one of a number of European countries to have seen devastating wildfires this summer following droughts across the continent.

But Smukfest is to instead focus on preventative measures against fires, head of safety Thomas Rydahl said.

“We are extremely focused on the drought but we have chosen a different option to a (smoking) ban,” Ryhdahl said.

The Skanderborg festival takes place from August 8th-12th.

“We have a lot of preventative measures with a very high number of ashtrays and we will be communicating with our guests,” Rydahl said.

The ashtrays will consist of buckets of sand and water to immediately extinguish cigarette butts while staff will be instructed as to the heightened importance of fire safety, Ritzau reports.

“Last year mud was the problem, now it's the drought,” Rydahl said.

Swedish broadcaster SVT has reported that the Visfestival Holmöns will ban smoking entirely on its festival site.

Extra fire extinguishment equipment and volunteer firefighters will also be present.

Although there will be no smoking ban at Smukfest, a number of other rules will be introduced due to to the dry conditions, Rydahl said.

Bonfire and barbecue areas usually provided by the festival will not be available this year, he said.

The head of security also said that enforcing a no-smoking rule would not be easy under the circumstances.

“We are inclined to believe that we, through the friendly atmosphere, can alert our guests to the seriousness of the situation,” he said.

This year's Smukfest is the 39th edition of the festival at the Bøgeskoven forest near Skanderborg. Britney Spears is the headline act at this year's event.

READ ALSO: Subterranean wildfire rages in Denmark

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