Two people are confirmed to have died, with others being treated for drug-related issues, following the Sydney dance festival Defqon.1 yesterday.
Saturday afternoon saw the 2018 edition of the dance music festival Defqon.1 take place at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.
Sadly, as the ABC reports, two festivalgoers have passed away following suspected overdoses at the festival, with three others in critical condition at a local hospital.
While police have reported that a further thirteen attendees are currently receiving treatment for treatment for drug-related issues, over 700 punters reportedly sought help from medical personnel at Defqon.1.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has condemned the event, vowing to ban Defqon.1, and firmly stating that pill-testing is not the answer to the issue of drug use at festivals.
“I never want to see this event held in Sydney or New South Wales ever again — we will do everything we can to shut this down,” she explained.
“I understand there were some deaths in the past, but to have at least two on one night when every assurance was given to those attending that it was a safe event,” she continued. “Clearly it wasn’t when so many people have succumbed.”
“Anyone who advocates pill-testing is giving the green light to drugs. There is no such thing as a safe drug and unfortunately when young people think there is, it has tragic consequences.”
As the ABC notes, police charged ten people at the festival for drug offences, including two 17-year-old girls, and a 22-year-old man who was allegedly found in possession of 20 packets of GHB.
Organisers of the Defqon.1 festival released a statement earlier today, noting that they were “deeply saddened” by the tragic deaths of the festival patrons, and expressed their condolences at all those affected.
“We are disappointed at the number of reported drug related incidents, we have a zero-tolerance policy in relation to drug use at the festival,” they explained.
“Festival organisers are working closely and cooperating with the authorities regarding the fatalities and the number of medical presentations made during the evening, a full investigation is currently underway.”
“As this is a matter with the NSW Police and the coroner and out of respect for the families and friends we are not going to speculate on the cause of death and we will not be making any further statements or comments.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first drug-related death that has occurred at the Defqon.1 festival, with a 23-year-old man passing away in 2013, and a 26-year-old dying following the conclusion of the 2015 event.