The Aussie music scene is in mourning once again, following the death of a 24-year-old man at New South Wales’ Strawberry Fields festival over the weekend.
On Friday, the annual Strawberry Fields festival kicked off proceedings for another year in the New South Wales town of Tocumwal. A three-day event, organisers and police had hoped this year’s edition would be incident-free.
Sadly, as The Sydney Morning Herald reports, this year’s festivities have been marred by tragedy following the death of a 24-year-old Shepparton man on Sunday morning.
Despite police hoping that a “diminished” drug presence had indicated that punters were putting their own safety first, the unnamed Victorian man sadly succumbed to the effects of a drug cocktail soon before 1am on December 1st.
According to reports, the man had ingested a lethal combination of cocaine, MDMA, and GHB prior to being taken to the medical tent. Despite the efforts of medics on hand, the man ultimately suffered cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead shortly before 2am.
A statement from festival organisers expressed their sorrow at the young man’s death, while noting that had exhausted every avenue in order to prevent such an incident from taking place.
“We would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this distressing and terribly sad time,” a spokesperson explained.
“We have implemented every single harm minimisation strategy that is legally available to us, run in-depth education campaigns on the dangers of drug use, and worked closely with all stakeholders to ensure we are in the best possible position to prevent and manage an incident like this.”
In a brief interview with reporters on Sunday, NSW Police Superintendent Jason Weinstein explained that while the man’s death was “very sad and very heartbreaking for the family”, it serves as a reminder that drugs are indeed “dangerous items”.
“All it takes is one pill to kill,” Supt. Weinstein explained. “If anyone is thinking of consuming an illegal substance it’s really like playing Russian roulette, you’re really loading a bullet into a gun and firing.”
This news follows a controversial 12 months for the New South Wales music scene, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian outlining draconian plans to tackle drug-related festival deaths, and constantly knocking back calls for pill testing to be implemented at festivals.
Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the deceased man during this difficult time.