A man has died at the increasingly controversial Rainbow Serpent Music & Arts festival in central Victoria.
According to Fairfax, the reveller, whose age and identity have yet to be released to the public, passed away at around 10.15pm on Saturday night after suffering a cardiac arrest at the Lexton dance fest.
Paramedics were called to the scene at around 9pm, but despite an hour’s worth of work, they were unable to save his life.
It’s not yet known if drugs were a factor, however police say they’re not treating the death as suspicious and are preparing a report for the coroner.
In a statement to the Border Mail this morning, Rainbow Serpent organiser Tim Harvey said: “Rainbow Serpent considers the safety of patrons a priority and we will continue to cooperate with authorities to determine exactly what happened in this situation”.
This weekend’s tragedy marks the second death at the psychedelic bush doof in the space of five years. Another man passed away at the 2012 event, the 2015 instalment ended with multiple drug and assault charges and last year had police questioning the future of festival going forward as a result of the “concerning” number of drug-related incidents at the 2016 event.
Speaking ahead of the launch of this year’s festival on Thursday, Ballarat Inspector Bruce Thomas said: “The presence of drugs at music festivals and similar events and the potential for overdoses is always of concern both to police and the community in general.
“It should be remembered that there was a fatal drug overdose at the Rainbow Serpent Festival in 2012 and there have been a number of Ambulance Victoria recorded overdoses since.”
Giving a recap of incidents at this weekend’s event so far, Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen told the Border Mail that a “site-based team of a paramedics” had treated “a significant number” of people for injuries and medical conditions, with a number being transferred to Ballarat Base Hospital with “fractures, breaks and hypothermia”.
Despite emergency services’ damning reviews, Rainbow Serpent was still ranked among the world’s 300 best festivals for 2016.
This year’s five-day Rainbow Serpent Music Festival, which police estimate attracted 17.5K people, is due to wrap up on Monday.
Stay safe, people.