Splendour In The Grass 2014, which it set to conclude tonight with a set from headliner Lily Allen, has so far seen over a kilo of drugs seized by NSW police and 159 people busted on drug-related offences. The news comes amid criticisms of the use of sniffer dogs during music festivals.
“In total over the three days, we have seized more than a kilo of drugs,” a spokeswoman for NSW Police Media told the Australian Associated Press. According to the AAP, approximately half of the seized drug haul was cannabis, while the rest was ecstasy and yet-to-be examined powders.
However, the spokeswoman said crowds have generally been well behaved. “In general, it looks like everybody’s behaving themselves. There were a couple of incidences, some antisocial behaviour and alcohol-related matters last night, but the vast majority… were well behaved,” she said.
“It’s one of the largest music festivals in Australia… and we seize more drugs here and detain more people for the possession of drugs than anywhere else in the state,” NSW Police Superintendent Stuart Wilkins told ABC. “This is about harm minimisation, and it’s about protecting the people.”
NSW Police announced late last week that they would proceed with a sniffer dog patrol at the festival, despite a public appeal from Art Vs Science’s Dan McNamee, who urged organisers to forego sniffer dogs to deter punters from taking all of their drugs at once to avoid getting caught.
UPDATE 9:48AM 30/07/14: NSW Police have issued a statement congratulating Splendour 2014 punters on the generally good conduct at this year’s event. During the police’s drug-dog detection operation, 271 people were detected in possession of illegal drugs, including cannabis, MDMA, speed, ice, and cocaine. Police issued 87 cannabis cautions and 89 court attendance notices.
Gallery: Future Islands – Splendour In The Grass 2014, Byron Bay 26/07/2014
Photos by Ashley Mar