A new report reveals children have faced “potentially unlawful” and “invasive” drug and alcohol testing at Lost City music festival in Sydney.
The event, put on by Good Life Presents — as well as any other events put on by the company — are exclusively for those under 18. No parents allowed. Only ages 13 – 17 are permitted, which are considered minors under the law.
However, that doesn’t exempt these young festival goers from being searched. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Lost City festival implemented tongue swipes for drugs, sniffer dogs, and random breathalyzer tests for approximately one in five teenagers.
While festival organizers argue searches are for the safety of attendees, others believe the searches are not in the best interest of the teenagers. The Redfern Legal Centre’s police accountability solicitor, Samantha Lee, goes as far to say the search protocol may jeopardize the safety of young people, the exact opposite of its intent.
“This weekend, young people still considered minors under the law,” she said, “and without a parent or guardian present – are about to be subjected to invasive drug and alcohol testing usually restricted to roadside use or conducted on people operating dangerous workplace machinery.”
“Upon entry to the festival, these young people will be confronted by drug dogs, police and security with no understanding of their legal rights, and no one present to advocate on their behalf.”
The event was promoted as “100 percent” drug and alcohol free. The festival website’s stated, “All patrons are patted down for prohibited items.”
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald