UPDATE 20/02/17: Police have cast doubt over the future of Electric Parade Festival, while doctors have suggested the drug responsible for a wave of overdoses may have actually been a derivative of the drug GHB, and not GHB itself.
ORIGINAL STORY: A “fleet of ambulances” had to be called to Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl overnight to rush more than twenty punters to hospital, following a mass of GHB overdoses at the Victorian leg of the Electric Parade dance festival.
Ambulance Victoria treated 25 people at the scene, 22 of whom had to be carted off to hospital, with The Age reporting that “many” of the patients remain in a critical condition.
Emergency services are understandably gobsmacked at the result.
“It’s the highest number of overdoses we have seen at a music event for some time,” Ambulance Victoria State Health Commander Paul Holman tells AAP. “A fleet of ambulances was brought in to transport the overdose patients to The Alfred, Royal Melbourne and St Vincent’s hospitals.”
“The majority of those treated by paramedics had overdosed on GHB,” he continues. “It’s a drug that causes people to become unconscious, slows the heart rate and can cause seizures.”
As if that wasn’t scary enough, Holman tells The New Daily that at least six more patients who’d been to the festival had to be rushed to hospital from other locations in and around Melbourne’s CBD later that night.
“We’ve transported 22 people from that event alone, and we’re now up to 30-plus from that event and across the city, all with GHB overdoses, all critically ill,” Holman says.
“Really, that event was awash with drugs,” he continues.
The two-leg Electric Parade festival bills itself as “delivering the ultimate cutting edge production and a next level line-up” and is currently in its fifth year.
Electric Parade organisers have yet to comment on the overdose incidents.
The Sydney leg of the single-day event is going down at Manning House Garden & Terrace today.