Sydney’s New Year’s Day festival Field Day has warned 2017 ticket-holders that a “very large drug dog operation” will be in place at Sunday’s event, while also letting punters know how they can help minimise drug-related harm.
In a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, Field Day organisers say, “There will be a very large drug dog operation at the Field Day entrance this year. [Promoter] Fuzzy has worked closely with the police to facilitate this operation. Police will be targeting all patrons, and prosecuting anyone found with drugs, not just dealers.”
Responding to a punter’s concerns over people potentially consuming all their drugs before they arrive at Field Day, organisers say, “Important distinction: We can’t control whether there are sniffer dogs. But we can warn customers so they know in advance, not just discover the dogs when they get there. This is important to help minimise harm.”
Field Day organisers have also criticised by some individuals in the comments for not offering pill testing kits at the 2017 event. In response, organisers say, “We provide education, medical staff and a safe environment to the best degree possible, working within what we can legally do. We have no say over drug law or policing policy.”
Field Day says it has trained over 1,000 event and bar staff in harm minimisation strategies for the New Year’s Day event, including “how to identify symptoms of alcohol and other drug intoxication or adverse reactions”, as well as how to respond. The festival is also inviting punters to spend 10 minutes to complete their own harm minimisation training at the event.
Strangely, Field Day organisers have also told ticket-holders how to respond if they were to be interviewed by media about the event.
“Media stories often portray music festivals as being all about drugs. If you are interviewed by a news crew, you can support Sydney’s culture by telling the people of Australia about what music festivals really mean to you: Being with friends, dancing and high quality music from around the world,” organisers say.
184 people (out of a crowd of 28,000) were arrested for drug offences at Field Day 2016, eight of those for dealing. A 23-year-old woman was also left in a critical condition following a suspected overdose, while a number of first-time offenders were given criminal records.
Read Field Day’s full statement regarding the 2017 event, below.
Gallery: Field Day 2016, The Domain, Sydney / Photos: Maria Boyadgis
Field Day Organisers Warn Of "Very Large Drug Dog Operation" - Music Feeds
Field Day Statement (Via Facebook)
Drugs and Music Festivals
We thought that the New Year’s Eve period would be a good time to get the message out about reducing harm from drug use at social occasions, including music festivals.
We believe the best defence against harmful drug use is education and peer support. This year we have trained over 1000 event and bar staff in specific harm minimisation strategies including:
• How to identify symptoms of alcohol and other drug intoxication or adverse reactions
• How to respond to an emergency situation
• How to put someone into the recovery position and clear their airways
At Field Day this year we will be offering free entry to the VIP area for the first 100 patrons to complete harm minimisation training at the Red Cross save-a-mate Chill Out Space. Head there when you arrive.
There will be a very large drug dog operation at the Field Day entrance this year. Fuzzy has worked closely with the police to facilitate this operation. Police will be targeting all patrons, and prosecuting anyone found with drugs, not just dealers.
Each year after Field Day the police send out a press release stating how many people were caught with drugs on them. Last year 184 people out of 28,000 were arrested. The number of people who visited first aid for drug related issues was 19.
What can you do?
• Look after your friends
• If you see someone looking unwell, tell a security guard
• Take note of where the Medical tent is at the event
• Stay hydrated – there is free water available from all the bars as well as multiple water refill outlets around the event
• Have rests in the shade throughout the day
• Don’t try to buy illegal drugs at the event
• Get free harm minimisation training at the Red Cross save-a-mate Chill Out Space – it only takes 10 minutes.
Media stories often portray music festivals as being all about drugs. If you are interviewed by a news crew, you can support Sydney’s culture by telling the people of Australia about what music festivals really mean to you: Being with friends, dancing and high quality music from around the world.
Field Day 2017 Lineup
Chance The Rapper
Claptone (DJ set)
Kölsch (DJ set)
L D R U
Newham Generals (D Double & Footsie)
What So Not
Field Day 2017
Sunday, 1st January 2017
The Domain, Sydney
Tickets: Field Day