Up Down festival, one of those unlucky events to garner the “high risk” classification under NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian‘s new regulations, took place over the weekend for the very first time and NSW Police say that they were pleased with how the punters behaved.
In a statement given to Music Feeds, a NSW Police Force spokesperson said that a “high visibility operation was undertaken, the Police Dog Unit and Licensing Police in attendance, alongside officers from the Newcastle City Police District.”
“There were more than a dozen positive drug searches,” the spokesperson said, “with criminal infringement notices and court attendance notices issued.” Music Feeds was later told that the number of positive drug searches was less than 20.
But, what’s very important is that no attendees required hospital treatment.
In a statement given to Music Feeds by Up Down representatives, the festival organisers said that just shy of 4,000 people were in attendance at the event.
“There were no major incidents,” the statement reads. “No medical transports off site or ambulances required. 50 patrons presented to medical and 48 of those were treated for minor injuries including minor cuts, bruises and band aids. Two patrons were treated for alcohol related illnesses and went home of their own will.”
The festival organisers, while acknowledging the importance of having police onsite, said that the presence was “excessive and intimidating”.
When the list of “high risk” festivals were released by the state government earlier this year, brows were raised due to Up Down’s inclusion given the fact that the festival had never happened before.
In any case, festival organisers have promised the festival’s return in 2020 and we’ll see if it remains “high risk” for much longer.