Man Dies At Music Festival After Taking Drugs, Police Say
A man has died after allegedly consuming a cocktail of illicit drugs at a music festival in NSW's Riverina region.
The 24-year-old man was brought to a medical tent at the Strawberry Fields music festival about 12.45am on Sunday.
Strawberry Fields, a camping festival hosting a range of DJs and bands, is being held at Tocumwal, two hours west of Albury on the NSW-Victoria border.
"Medical staff were informed that the male had consumed multiple substances including GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), MDMA and cocaine," NSW Police said in a statement.
"Shortly after the man suffered a cardiac arrest and was treated by medical staff."
The man was pronounced dead at 2.02am. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, NSW Police Superintendent Jason Weinstein said there was currently only "very limited" information available about the circumstances leading up to the man's death, but that the man's friends said he had taken a "cocktail" of drugs.
"Whether it's one or a combination, they all have dangerous effects, and they can, in their own right, kill people," Weinstein said.
In a statement to 10 daily, Strawberry Fields organisers said they were "completely devastated" by the news.
"Murray River Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s death. The deceased has been identified and relatives have been notified. We would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this distressing and terribly sad time," Strawberry Fields said.
The festival outlined a list of safety measures it had set in place, including harm minimisation and education programs.
"However, we cannot control the choices of individual patrons," organisers said.
"We are begging people to stop and think about the ramifications of their choices on their family and friends and to stay safe."
The festival had warned patrons on Tuesday to stay safe.
"Both VIC & NSW police will be running significant road operations entering and leaving the festival all weekend. Do not do something that could ruin your weekend, and the ability of this festival to ever happen again," the festival had posted on Facebook.
Just three weeks ago, NSW deputy coroner Harriet Graham recommended the state government trial pill testing at music festivals this summer, but also stop the use of drug detection dogs, in her report following an inquest into drug-related deaths.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has so far been steadfastly opposed to pill testing, but Graham's chief recommendation was that the government trial the harm minimisation measure at festivals this summer.
Meanwhile police have charged four people with supplying drugs at the Festival X music event at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.
As part of a trial, 13 people found with prohibited drugs were dealt with by way of a Drug Criminal Infringement Notices and fined up to $400.