Following the tragic deaths of two young people who attended the Defqon.1 festival in September, the Premier convened an expert panel to advise the NSW Government on how to keep people safe at music festivals.
The panel, made up of health, law enforcement and regulatory experts, completed their review and made a number of recommendations, which the NSW Government have accepted in principle.
The recommendations include:
- introducing a new licensing regime to improve music festival regulation
- providing more support for festival health workers
- educating festival-goers on the dangers of illegal drug use
- a new offence to holds drug dealers responsible for deaths they cause
- trialling on-the-spot fines for drug possession.
Music festivals are a significant part of NSW’s entertainment scene, and an important contributor to the State’s economy. However, Premier Gladys Berejiklian pointed out the Government owes it to young people, and their parents and families, to make sure they are safe.
“The new licensing regime we are introducing, combined with better regulatory coordination, will ensure that events with a poor track record and heightened risk will face greater oversight from the authorities – if they don’t change, they won’t go ahead,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Drug dealers who prey on our young people, and seek to profit by peddling illicit substances at music festivals, are on notice.”