Protesters demand pill testing and end to strip searches
The Premier and her fellow cabinet members will have "blood on their hands" if someone dies at a music festival this summer, warned protesters at a rally in Sydney.Or so says Tyson Koh, Keep Sydney Open organiser and candidate in last year's state election, speaking at a rally to protest NSW drug laws on Saturday.
A man has died from a suspected drug overdose at a southern New South Wales music festival.
Police said the 24-year-old was taken to the medical tent early this morning at the Strawberry Fields festival in the Riverina.
Medical staff were told he had taken multiple substances including GHB, MDMA and cocaine.
The man suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 2:02am.
Officers from the Murray River Police District are investigating.
A lengthy statement from the festival organisers said the team worked year round to ensure the 9,500 festivalgoers were hosted in the safest possible environment.
Teenage boy dies of drug overdose near controversial safe injecting room
The death comes a day after residents called for the facility to be moved elsewhere. Although a 15-year-old cannot legally access the service, Reason Party MP Fiona Patten says this is the reason it was set up."We are saving hundreds of others and we are saving the families of hundreds of others from going through the pain that that family is going through," she said.But residents have been angered by the overflow of heroin users not accessing the facility.
"We are completely devastated by this news," the statement said.
"We would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this distressing and terribly sad time."
However, organisers urged festivalgoers to take responsibility for their actions.
"We have implemented every single harm minimisation strategy that is legally available to us … however, we cannot control the choices of individual patrons," the statement said.
"We are begging people to stop and think about the ramifications of their choices on their family and friends and to stay safe."
Police make 137 drug detections at Sydney festival
Meanwhile, four people have been charged with supplying drugs at the Festival X music event yesterday at Sydney Showground.
'Sweetest person I know': Tributes for man, 24, who died of suspected overdose
Tributes are pouring onto social media for Victorian man Glenn Mcrae who died on the weekend. Medical staff were told he had taken a cocaine, GHB and MDMA.Glenn Mcrae, from Shepparton, was attending the Strawberry Fields four-day music festival in Tocumwal when he was rushed to the event's medical tent at 12.45am on Sunday.
Police said they reached 137 drug detections over the 10-hour festival which was attended by more than 44,000 revellers.
And as part of a NSW Government trial, 13 people were issued with on-the-spot fines for drug infringement, a move supported by police for dealing with recreational users at festivals.
The fines, known as criminal infringement notices which carry penalties of up to $400, are a discretionary power and aimed at avoiding court attendances.
Neither of the festivals are on the NSW Government's "high-risk" list which carries tighter licensing restrictions.
This latest death follows huge scrutiny of NSW music festivals this year on the back of a coronial inquest after six people died at events over two summers.
Deputy NSW coroner Harriet Grahamethe decriminalisation of personal drug use and banning sniffer dogs at festivals.
The Berejiklian Government has steadfastly voiced its opposition to pill testing, which the Premier said sent the "wrong message".
Pill testing trial 'successful' at music festival, evaluation finds .
An evaluation of an Australian pill testing trial has found that the service improved participants' harm reduction knowledge, their trust in health providers and their stated intentions around drug use. ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said she will discuss the findings of the evaluation with her state and territory counterparts at the next Council of Australian Governments health meeting."We need to continue this conversation at a national level," she said."... we have seen too many avoidable deaths at music festivals. It is obvious current processes and policies are not working and more needs to be done.