Zendo Project Launches $50,000 Campaign to Expand Festival Services

Brad Burge, MAPS
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Summer festival season calls for expansion of psychedelic harm reduction services as public health alternative to hospitalization and arrest

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—With the summer festival heating up, the Zendo Project has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to expand its psychedelic harm reduction services at events. The campaign, which ends July 23, has already raised 25% of its $50,000 goal from over 150 funders in the first week.

Psychedelic harm reduction is an effective public health-based alternative to hospitalization and arrest. Sponsored by the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the Zendo Project provides a safe space and professionally trained staff to care for individuals at festivals, concerts, and other events where people may choose to use psychedelic substances. Zendo Project staff and volunteers also work closely with event security and medical response teams to provide comprehensive psychedelic harm reduction services.

Donations to the Zendo Project Indiegogo campaign will be used to (1) build a new Zendo structure, a 32-foot diameter Japanese-style meditation yurt made from recycled cardboard; (2) train additional volunteers and provide public trainings; and (3) expand the Zendo Project’s psychedelic harm reduction services to more events worldwide.

“We are working towards the day when psychedelic harm reduction will be an integral and required part of festival safety infrastructure,” says MAPS Director of Harm Reduction Linnae Ponté. “It is a pleasure to work with festival organizers and medical staff to reduce the number of drug-related hospitalizations and arrests, and help keep event attendees safe.”

Since 2012, the Zendo Project has assisted over 700 guests and trained approximately 500 volunteers, totaling over 10,000 hours of volunteer time. Zendo Project staff and volunteers have provided services at Burning Man (Nevada), Boom Festival (Portugal), AfrikaBurn (South Africa), Bicycle Day (Calif., USA), Envision Festival (Costa Rica), Lightning in a Bottle (Calif., USA), and other events.

The Zendo Project and psychedelic harm reduction have received positive media coverage in The Huffington Post (“This Music Festival Knows It Can’t Stop People From Doing Drugs, So It’s Trying To Keep Them Safe Instead,” May 2015), Fest300 (“I Did ‘Psychedelic First Aid’ at a Festival in Costa Rica,” March 2015), Tricycle (“Dharma on the Playa,” Spring 2014), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) blog (“Concerts and Drugs: Is There a Way to Reduce the Dangers?”, June 2015).

MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization developing medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. Since its founding in 1986, MAPS has disbursed over $20 million to psychedelic and medical marijuana research, education, and harm reduction.

Watch the video and learn more: zendoproject.org.