“Enough is enough. This simply has to stop.”
Yesterday, a 23-year-old woman was taken to St. Vincent’s hospital in critical condition after reportedly overdosing on drugs at Sydney’s Field Day music festival. She has since been released from the hospital, following a stunning recovery. On the event grounds, 184 drug-related arrests were made, down from a high of 214 at last year’s installment. 212 attendees received paramedic treatment on site, with five taken to nearby hospitals.
Today, Premier of New South Wales Mike Baird issued a statement, calling for drastic reform in the country’s music festival system. “Enough is enough,” he said, declaring that such large-scale events will be held accountable for “distressing and avoidable” drug overdoses, The Daily Telegraph reports.
“Individuals need to take responsibility for their actions, but so do the organisers of these festivals.”
Baird said that he would begin by reexamining the system for issuing event permits as well as beefing up screening procedures at venue entry points. Organizers that do not comply, he said, will have their events promptly shut down.
“In the light of this latest distressing and avoidable incident, I will be asking the relevant ministers to review the current system of regulating events held on public land, including the system for granting permits for public events such as music festivals. If new rules and procedures place additional burdens and costs on organisers, so be it — and we will also examine denying permits to organisers who have not done the right thing in the past”
The Field Day incident follows a train of separate Australian deaths resulting from drug-related health issues at music festivals. In November, 25-year-old Sylvia Choi died of an overdose after attending Stereosonic in Sydney. In September, Nigel Pauljevic died after Defqon in Penrith. Earlier in the year, a woman died at Harbourlife after reportedly ingesting “one and a half pills.”