Two Women Charged With Supplying Drugs At Secret Garden Music Festival
Ten people are due to face court on drug charges following a police operation at day one of the Secret Garden music festival in south-west Sydney.
Now in its 11th and final year, the two-day boutique festival held in Camden kicked off on Friday with a crowd of around 4,000 people.
A 27-year-old woman was among the ten handed Field Court Attendance Notices.
The Canberra woman charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and two counts of possessing a prohibited drug, police said, after searches allegedly found MDMA tablets and cocaine.
She was granted conditional bail and is scheduled to appear at Picton Local Court on March 28.
Meanwhile, a 32-year-old woman from Croyden was also charged with four counts of drug supply, two counts of possessing prohibited drugs and one count of possessing prescribed restricted substance.
NSW Police said officers conducted 109 vehicle searches and a total of 300 people were searched, with 40 drug detections for MDMA, cocaine and cannabis.
Another 15 people were issued criminal infringement notices, while 16 were given cannabis cautions.
Camden Police Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Ward Hanson warned party-goers his team would be out in full force on Saturday as well.
“It’s alarming that, on average one in one hundred revellers were already detected with illegal drugs at this festival," Hanson said.
"There is no such thing as a safe party drug and revellers are putting their lives at risk."
It comes as the NSW Government released its list of 14 "high risk" festivals which will have to adhere to a new licensing regime from March 1.
Each of the festivals where a young person died of a suspected drug overdose this past summer made the list, inlcuding Defqon. 1, Knockout Games of Destiny, Lost Paradise and FOMO festival.
Under the new scheme, low risk festivals will obtain a free licence, while high risk ones will pay a $650 fee.
"The NSW Government wants music festivals to thrive -- but serious drug related illnesses and deaths have demonstrated that we need to help make a small number of them safer," Minister for Racing Paul Toole said in a statement.
Secret Garden Festival, which announced in January this weekend would be its last installment, was not on the list.
This week an estimated 20,000 people rallied in Sydney's Hyde Park against the new legislation, calling for a rethink of the "knee-jerk" laws amidst concerns they will negatively impact both big and small events.
Two NSW events -- Mountain Sounds and Pysfari -- cancelled their 2019 festivals, citing regulation hurdles and "impossible" financial demands including bills from NSW Police while another event announced it will more interstate.