Five people were critically ill after taking high strength ‘Skype’ ecstasy pills at Parklife music festival, say health bosses.
It is believed the pills contained 250-300mg of MDMA – three times the amount normally found in ecstasy tablets.
The purple and pink pills feature the Skype logo on one side and were intercepted at the festival held over the weekend at Heaton Park in Manchester.
The Loop, a drug awareness and testing charity, posted a photo of the tablets on Twitter on Saturday night, while the festival was in full swing, warning revellers not to take the pills.
The charity said the pills were tested on Saturday at Parklife and had been linked to “welfare cases” at the site, the Manchester Evening News reports.
It added: “Take care & seek medical help if unwell.”
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A number of patients were taken to North Manchester and Fairfield Hospital for alcohol and drug related conditions.
Of those, five needed emergency treatment after taking the ‘Skype’ ecstasy pills.
The Medical Director of North Manchester General Hospital confirmed the five patients were “critically ill”.
Forty-two people were arrested during the two-day festival, mostly for drug offences.
Greater Manchester Police said there were 25 arrests on Saturday and a further 17 on Sunday.
A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.
He was allegedly in possession of drugs and psychoactive substances on Sunday.
Before the festival began, Parklife founder Sacha Lord warned revellers about drugs and urged them to look after each other.
Mr Lord wrote on social media to “party sensibly and pace yourself”.
He added: “You’ve paid for your ticket and waited all this time to party with your friends and see your favourite acts.
“There’s 80,000 of you in a park all there for one reason, to have the time of your lives and enjoy the music.
“Don’t overdo it. Party. But party sensibly. Pace yourselves and enjoy the whole weekend. Look after each other.”
Prof Matt Makin, Medical Director at North Manchester General Hospital, said: “A number of patients from Parklife were treated at our North Manchester General and Fairfield General Hospitals at the weekend, some of whom were treated for alcohol and drug related conditions.
“This included five patients who were critically ill and needed emergency treatment after taking what was believed to be an illegal MDMA ecstasy substance, known as ‘Skype’.
“These patients were admitted to hospital.
“Planning again this year to support the two-day event was successful, with our hospital staff working closely with festival organisers, Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service and other services before and during to ensure those who attended were kept safe and received appropriate advice, care and treatment where needed.”