A 23-year-old Sydney woman was found dead on the grounds of the Dragon Dreaming Festival in Wee Jasper in southeast New South Wales on Sunday. Police say they had tried to prevent the festival from going ahead this year.
As Fairfax reports, the woman was found dead at 5.30am on Sunday after complaining to friends that she felt unwell on Saturday. According to police, on-site medical personnel performed CPR, but were unable to revive her.
The woman was attending the four-day event with a group of friends. The festival takes place near Lake Burrinjuck, about 50km southwest from Yass and three-and-a-half hours from the woman’s home in Berala in Sydney’s west.
While the cause of her death is unknown, local police told Fairfax they made 78 drug detections during the festival over the course of the weekend. According to police, the woman did not suffer from any medical conditions.
“It is tragic that a young life has been lost and that a family is mourning the life of their daughter,” said Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan on Sunday. “I didn’t want this event to happen in the first place.”
“We put our objections forward to council and as a result of these drug detections, and the tragic death of a young lady, we will again be putting our recommendations forward for this event not to take place in our community,” he added.
“Once the police have obtained all their statistics from the weekend they will be putting a recommendation to the council not to approve the event next year.” Police also executed 20 positive random drug tests as punters left the festival, charing three with supply.
The circumstances surrounding the woman’s death are currently being investigated and police are preparing a brief for the Coroner. Dragon Dreaming Festival organisers previously issued a warning to punters about a police presence.
“Dragon Dreaming has been in consultation with the NSW Police Force. They have indicated there will be a police presence both inside and outside the event targeting drink drivers and illicit drugs,” they wrote on Facebook.
“The NSW Police Force have stated their goal is a safe environment for both festival goers and the local community. Be aware the NSW police can prosecute persons identified as commiting criminal offences.”
“Recently three members of our community had their lives cut short on their travel home. Through co-operation with the police, this is what we are hoping to avoid. Help the scene by being responsible on the roads.”
Festival organisers have not yet released an official statement in response to Sunday’s tragedy. The Dragon Dreaming Festival website describes the event as a celebration of “art, music, nature, and the freedom of self-expression in a safe, family-friendly gathering”.