Punters greeted, or caught out by sniffer dogs on their arrival at Splendour in the
Grass Mud this weekend can take solace in professional and pro bono advice, as Lismore’s Randall Legal have set up shop with a free legal tent onsite.
Knowing your rights, and having an expert there to back you up, or help you out? We’ll drink (overpriced tinnies) to that.
Randall Legal have been operational at Splendour since the festival permanently took up shop in its current Byron Bay home. We spoke to Naomi Carter, a solicitor at Randall Legal, who said they’ve consulted with a number of punters so far.
Carter said helping young festival-goers early on is imperative, as they generally become “quite distressed with the fact they’ve been charged.” Carter told us that a criminal conviction for personal use can be a particularly strong blight on punters’ futures.
“This year we’ve been quite busy,” (they don’t call it Splendour in the grass for nothing) Naomi Carter said, “Every year we have a number of people turning up, but again it affects young people…people who have finished high school, just starting out at uni or at the commencement of their careers, the impact potentially of a criminal conviction on their life plan, that they’re just at the beginning stages of, can have a really devastating effect.”
Promo ft. swathes of glorious mud.
Carter said sniffer dog presence “definitely assists police with their detections” but can present a serious downside, when punters dangerously consume their supply to avoid being caught.
Considering the news around drug use at Splendour last year was as h i g h as you were—ft. a kilo of various uppers seized on day 2, and a flight attendant urging all to flush their pingers before disembarking at Sydney—we spoke with a Police spokesperson about the view from the mud this year.
While they were mum on the confirmed number of charges made, they told us, “It’s a small number of people caught and festival goers have behaved well to date,” but added, “We’d be happy if we got no drug detections. People taking drugs into this festival are a risk to themselves and a risk to others.”
They also told us they were “disappointed” over large quantity seizes – with some carrying over 100 pills on their person. According to police, MDMA, ice, cannabis, cocaine and LSD have all been detected and seized this weekend.
Supply in Splendour may not keep up with demand: “Some of the major seizures have been over 100 MDMA pills during the drug dog operation,” the spokesperson said, “This is not for personal use, but is to supply to other people.”
Police also told us that their drug dog operation would cease “after dark” tonight.
Meanwhile, in the words of Splendour’s organisers in the event of you dealing with police, “stay calm, follow directions and be nice.”
Otherwise, cheers to the freakin’ Splendour weekender.