FOMO Festival organisers have stated they are “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of a 19-year-old patron at the Sydney leg of the festival yesterday.
Having kicked off last week in Brisbane, the 2019 FOMO Festival has been travelling around the country, where it’s penultimate stop in Sydney took place yesterday. However, tragedy struck the event, with a 19-year-old woman reportedly passing away from an overdose.
In a statement issued by NSW Police, it was revealed that the Central Coast woman had been taken from the Parramatta festival to Westmead Hospital around 6pm on Saturday evening, passing away later in the night.
Police also explained they searched approximately 146 members of the 11,387-strong crowd, with 54 people being found in possession of drugs.
In a seperate statement, police noted a 19-year-old man ran from law enforcement after being found in possession of a white substance. However, this individual was arrested after being found in the Parramatta River shortly after.
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 12, 2019
As The Guardian notes, FOMO Festival organisers have issued a statement on the 19-year-old’s death, explaining their “hearts are with the family” at this difficult time.
“The safety and wellbeing of our patrons is at the forefront of every planning decision,” organisers explained.
“Our anti-drug messaging began weeks ahead of the event and continued at the event itself – a message we’re proud to deliver and will continue to do so with unwavering commitment in order to keep our beloved patrons safe.”
“FOMO Festival has always been clear that we do not condone the sale, supply or consumption of illicit substances. We are working closely with police on the matter and cannot provide further comment. Our hearts are with the family.”
A 19-year-old woman has died in hospital after attending the FOMO music festival. Police say the Central Coast teenager was taken from the Parramatta Park event to Westmead Hospital. #FOMO2019 #7News https://t.co/x3ksmN8cZO
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 13, 2019
Tragically, news of this young patron’s death occurred just days after the Australian Festival Association penned an open letter, responding to a spate of drug-related deaths, and pleading with state and territory governments across Australia to implement new strategies in order to ensure the safety of festivalgoers across the country.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the deaths at Australian festivals during the recent holiday period and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives,” the AFA wrote in their letter.
“As festival promoters, the last thing we want is someone to be hurt under our care. We need to be able to legally implement preventative strategies, not just reactive ones, and include any harm minimization tools that are available.”
“We believe, and have evidence to support, that a combination of robust harm minimization strategies will help Australians make safer choices and reduce the harmful impacts of drug use on festival-goers and the broader community.”