Over the weekend a tragedy unfolded that saw two young festival attendees at this years Defqon music festival pass away after what is being reported as suspected drug overdoses.
New South Wales premiere Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to shut down the festival saying she never wants to see it again and that the government will continue a hardline ‘zero tolerance’ approach when it comes to drugs – while offering injecting rooms for the safe use of drugs, a trial that has proved immensely effective and continues today.
The current status quo means the onus is understandably heavily reliant on event organisers to provide a safe environment for those attending, this includes everything possible from pre-event to on-ground and post event liaison with Police and state government officials.
Below is what we understand organisers currently utilise and provide to give you insight into the extent that festivals go so you and thousands if not, tens of thousands of your friends can enjoy a day or two of music.
- On-ground security
- RSA/Responsible Service of Alcohol
- Drug detection dogs
- On-ground police
- On-ground medical staff
- Undercover detectives
- OH&S – Layout, staging, sound, electrical and more
- Public liability insurance
- Cleaners – Hygiene
More often than not 99% of these costs are covered by the organisers out of their own pocket on-top of booking international and local guests as well as organising visas, permits and insurance. Those who don’t pay for police operating costs could very well see their DA/POPE refused and festival cancelled.
Considering such intensive financial hurdles the loss of one large scale festival will have a huge impact on the future of music events and the ability for another to replace it.
To say that events need to do more is unreasonable, especially when the government consistently discounts evidence from top health professionals such as Dr Alex Wodak, ex and current Police and government officials including ex-Border Force Commissioner Roman Quaedvleig.
In almost every aspect of life we have harm reduction when people have to make choices, from food labelling to seat belts, from councillors in schools to doctors in hospitals.
Drugs aren’t exclusive to events like these, it’s a much wider social issue that needs to be addressed with education and harm reduction such as pill testing that was successfully run at this years Groovin The Moo and amnesty bins used around the world at festivals that allows those attending to safely dispose of drugs before entering.
It’s up the current government to take progressive measures to keep people safe.
Did you see? Turns out over 13,000+ drug offences last year were recorded incorrectly in NSW.