A 22-year-old Queensland man has died and two others have been hospitalised after taking unknown substances at the Lost Paradise festival in Glenworth Valley, near Gosford in NSW.
The 22-year-old was reportedly taken to Gosford Hospital at approximately 8pm last night after falling ill while attending the festival. Authorities confirmed he died a short time later.
Two others, a man and a woman, are reportedly in a stable condition in hospital after also falling ill.
NSW Police attending the event issued 50 people with court attendance notices for drug possession, and charged three people with drug supply-related offences, including a 21-year-old man from Sydney who was caught allegedly carrying over 100 caps of MDMA.
The 22-year-old man’s death follows a horror year for festivals in New South Wales, with the highly-publicised deaths of two people at the Defqon1 festival in Sydney in September.
Those deaths triggered an apoplectic reaction from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian who, rather than any constructive solutions, opted for a scorched earth response that threatened to shut down the festival in the state, doggedly ignored advice from leading industry and health advocates, and stubbornly declared to ignore any and all recommendations to implement pill testing at festivals, asserting the practice would be a “green light” for punters to take drugs.
Clearly, that’s working great guns.
The three-day Lost Paradise festival began last night, and is scheduled to run across both today and tomorrow. Joey Bada$$, Peking Duk, Ball Park Music, Dune Rats, Tash Sultana, and a host of others are still to perform.
Lost Paradise organisers issued a statement on the tragedy a short time ago:
This is a very distressing incident and our sincerest thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased. The matter is the subject of a police investigation and we will continue to cooperate and provide whatever assistance we can.
Lost Paradise is a strictly drug-free event that is about celebrating life, love and nature in a fun, safe and welcoming environment.
A great deal of planning and effort goes into ensuring the safety and welfare of our festival-goers and event staff. We work closely with local police to try to ensure festival-goers respect our drug free policy and NSW Ambulance to provide extensive medical support across the festival site.
This year, we have also engaged DanceWize NSW, a NUAA program that is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to educate people on the implications of drug use, and offer peer support and health resources.