Famed Dutch EDM festival Defqon.1 played host to over 18,000 revellers in western Sydney yesterday, ending in the death of one man who overdosed on a mystery drug, 20 punters overdosing on the various party drugs available at the festival, and 84 drug-related arrests.
Taking place at the Sydney International Regatta Centre near Penrith, the festival boasted 130 international acts, including some of the premiere artists in the hardcore dance, trance, techno, and jumpstyle genres, including Frontliner, Brennan Heart, and Toneshifterz. The popular festival serves as a mecca for ravers nationwide, who with them bring a varied assortment of party drugs.
“People are quite inventive on how they defeat police and security methods so it doesn’t really matter [what we do],” said Penrith police Detective Inspector Grant Healy. According to Inspector Healy, the drugs brought into the festival included “magic mushrooms, cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, LSD, what people were reporting to be ecstasy [and] some GHB.”
The punters’ indulgence in the substances ended in 20 overdoses and the tragic death of one 23-year-old Victorian man, who was taken to a medical tent suffering seizures as the result of imbibing an as-yet unidentified drug. Paramedics took the man to Nepean Hospital where The Sydney Morning Herald reports, he suffered several cardiac arrests before being pronounced dead at about 10:30pm.
Defqon.1 organisers had partnered with the NSW Police in bringing over 100 officers to patrol the festival and employed a private first aid firm who worked in conjunction with the NSW Ambulance Service to deliver first aid to festival attendees.
However revellers say that despite the festival’s efforts to ensure a safe environment, which includes a strict zero tolerance drug policy, punters are driven to drugs because of the high cost of alcohol.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, punter Adam Watson said “The festival gets worse and worse every year. Honestly, I put it down to the amount it costs to drink inside of festivals. I think that’s a massive factor for some people.”
But Inspector Healy wasn’t so quick to defer responsibility, saying “It’s as simple as this: drugs are bad and you may die. The music festivals themselves aren’t a problem. The problem is adults making poor choices about their lifestyles.”
(Via Sydney Morning Herald)