The 22nd annual Meredith Music Festival came to a close over the weekend with over 13,000 people making their way to the Supernatural Amphitheatre to take in major headliners like Primal Scream, Spiritualized, and Four Tet rubbing shoulders with Australia’s best from past (Sunnyboys, Regurgitator) to present (Tame Impala, Saskwatch, Chet Faker).
Just a few of over 40 acts that ensured another successful round of camping, food, fun, and in the words of Aunty Meredith: ‘getting loose but keeping your shit together.’
With the dust (quite literally) finally settled, it seems that only a few individuals were in breach of the ‘No Dickheads Policy’, with only two drug arrests made over the three-day event.
The Geelong Advertiser reports that police arrested two people, while another two were taken to hospital for suspected overdoses at Meredith Music Festival.
The first of those was for an assault on a policewoman that occurred after she and three more officers attempted to detain a drug-induced man in the early hours of Saturday, during the long-night DJ sets and believed to have taken a combination of LSD and other illicit substances.
The man had displayed “extremely irrational and aggressive” behaviour according to Leading Senior Constable Greg Kitchen of Meredith Police. The offender was subdued with capsicum spray before being detained and taken to Ballarat to face charges.“Generally speaking, I must emphasise that most of the crowd has been really well-behaved.” Senior Constable Greg Kitchen, Meredith Police
Sen-Constable Kitchen also reports that a second man was arrested on Saturday at approx. 9pm after trying to enter the festival grounds with a “very large” quantity of drugs.
“He had three tobacco pouches with what is believed to be amphetamines,” said Senior Constable Kitchen. “There was a substantial amount of white powder as well as cannabis, LSD and mushrooms.”
Despite the arrests however, Senior Constable Kitchen offered that “generally speaking, I must emphasise that most of the crowd has been really well-behaved.”
The only other major issues appeared to be individuals who were treated for dehydration from the severe heat, reaching a top of 37 degrees on Saturday. Two more however were rushed to hospital after suffering reactions to drugs and alcohol.
John Mullen of Ambulance Victoria said one person was flown to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition while a second was taken to Geelong Hospital during the course of the weekend.
Festival co-director Matt High was equally pleases with the results of the Meredith weekend, saying that the crowd’s behaviour had been exemplary with few problems.
“There have only been a couple of cases in a crowd of 13,000, so it’s pretty insignificant and there’s no problem overall,” said Mr. High.
With the summer season of music festivals well and truly under way, the statistics of police presence at major music events continues to flood in, and Meredith once again proves that it’s the more civil of the pack by comparison.
Last week, Victorian Police made 93 arrests at Melbourne’s largest electronic music and dance festival Stereosonic, while emphasising that they would continue to target the summer season’s festivals.
Reports that followed on from the recent Strawberry Fields festival in Denilquin, where NSW Police used sniffer dogs throughout while officers conducted 114 person searches, 78 vehicle searches and 337 random breath tests while also issuing 12 traffic infringement notices.
Earlier this year, NSW Police said they were disappointed after conducting a huge bust of over 400 people at the annual Splendour In The Grass for drug related offences, including some of the crew working at the festival, and last year’s Creamfields Festival in Melbourne saw over 200 arrested in the biggest bust in Victorian festival history.