As tens of thousands of music lovers descend on the RAS Showgrounds at Sydney Olympic Park today for the sold out Big Day Out, police are warning punters to play it cool as temperatures are due to climb into the 40s.

“It is important for everyone to look out for themselves and for their mates,” said Acting South West Metropolitan Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner David Eardley. “We strongly encourage revellers to be sun smart, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water instead of alcohol, keep cool and have a plan in case you or a friend feels unwell.”

NSW Police will also be employing sniffer dogs at the festival, after more than 300 people were searched and 76 allegedly detected in possession of illicit drugs at last year’s event. Police are warning that punters could be putting their life at risk by mixing alcohol and drugs, and that with the extreme heat, the risk is amplified.

“Recreational drugs are dangerous, illegal and potentially life-threatening,” Cr David Eardley cautioned; “Especially when combined with alcohol and in the predicted weather conditions.”

Last year’s operation saw 49 people charged with drug possession, 4 with drug supply offences, and 16 were issued cannabis cautions, and  another 165 people were refused entry for being drunk.“We strongly encourage revellers to be sun smart, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water instead of alcohol, keep cool and have a plan in case you or a friend feels unwell.” – David Eardley, NSW Police

But despite the high profile operations held by the police each year around the country, drug busts at Australian festivals have become commonplace and almost normalised. Last year’s StereosonicStrawberry FieldsSplendour in the Grass, and Creamfields all yielded large numbers of drug related offences.

Byron Bay Superintendent Stuart Wilkins was furious after the Splendour bust, claiming “this culture of drug-taking at music events needs to stop,” after both punters and staff were busted with illegal narcotics.

The continuing presence of sniffer dogs and police has had some affect however, as the number of people caught at large scale events has been on the downward trend as of late.

Meredith’s 12,000 strong crowd at last year’s event were praised by local police as “very well behaved,” after just two drug arrests and two more related incidents, while over in Perth, Claremont council labelled punters to electronic music event Stereosonic “the worst ever”, despite a meagre 27 drug seizures compared to the 30,000 strong crowd.

As the Big Day Out kicks off today in Sydney, which sold out its allocation of VIP Like A Boss tickets just weeks from its opening, punters will be enjoying a stellar lineup of international acts, including headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, indie faves Animal Collective, punk heroes OFF!, as well as the likes of Childish Gambino, Death Grips, Band of Horses, Alabama Shakes, Vampire Weekend, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs – who could be playing a secret post-festival gig courtesy of their label, Modular.

There’s also a stellar lineup of local acts, including theatrical rock n roll specialists ME, Melbourne emcee 360, rock veterans Grinspoon, hardcore act House Vs Hurricane, and a host of specialised local acts in each capital territory, as well as unique festival features – like the scrumptious Chow Town menu, a Mexican Wrestling bar, the return of the Lilypad, and even a fully automated robotic band.

Big Day Out 2013 Lineup


Big Day Out 2013 Sydney Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Something With Numbers * Urthboy * Thy Art Is Murder * Deep Sea Arcade * Royal Headache * Bob Log III * Chance Waters * Good Heavens * Stereogamous * The Griswolds * Fishing * The Gooch Palms * Donny Benet * triple j unearthed winners: Jackie Onassis

Big Day Out 2013 Gold Coast Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Dead Letter Circus * I Heart Hiroshima * Paul Mac * The Cairos * Bob Log III * Hey Geronimo * We All Want To * Evil Eddie * Skinwalkers * Dave’s Pawn Shop * Lily Rouge * The Vernons * Sneeky Picnic * triple j unearthed winners: Jakarta Criers

Big Day Out 2013 Adelaide Lineup Announcement

The Medics * The Beards * Paul Mac * Grey Ghost * The Killgirls * Full Tote Odds * Messrs * Allday * Lady Strangelove * Steering By Stars * Sincerely, Grizzly * Stab Capital * Gemini Downs * Archers * Dr Piffle & The Burlap Band * triple j unearthed winners: The Aves

Big Day Out 2013 Melbourne Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Bodyjar * Seth Sentry * Chicks On Speed DJ Show * Bob Log III * The Smith Street Band * Kingswood * Yung Warriors * Money For Rope * Jackson Firebird * Split Seconds * For Our Hero * Generik * Zanzibar Chanel * The Stiffys * triple j unearthed winners: Apes

Big Day Out 2013 Perth Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Sugar Army * Chicks On Speed DJ Show * Emperors * The Chemist * Sons of Rico * Further Earth * Arts Martial * Rainy Day Women * Boys Boys Boys! * The Love Junkies * Skank MC * Dead Owls * Tomàs Ford * triple j unearthed winners: Foam

Big Day Out 2013 Event Dates

Friday 18th January – Sydney Showgrounds – SOLD OUT!

Sunday 20th January – Gold Coast Parklands

Friday 25th January – Adelaide Showgrounds

Saturday 26th January – Melbourne Flemington Racecourse

Monday 28 January – Perth Claremont Showground

Big Day Out 2013 tickets are on sale through at the all-inclusive price of $165

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