Two men are in critical condition in Westmead Hospital after attending the Hardcore Til I Die festival in Sydney Olympic Park, among at least eight hospitalisations following event in Sydney overnight.

The two men, aged 22 and 24, are still fighting for their lives in hospital, and their names have not been released. Another man, aged 20, was hospitalised after Hardcore Til I Die, with his condition described as serious.

A further five people were taken to hospital after attending the Electric Gardens festival at Centennial Park, including two women in their 60s. Of the eight hospitalisations, health authorities suspect drugs are likely to have been a factor in six.

NSW Health said in a statement that it has prepared high-level critical care medical teams and additional harm reduction measures for a number of high-risk festivals across the Australia Day long weekend. Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said:

“NSW Health has put multiple harm reduction measures in place ahead of what is forecast to be a very hot long weekend, to do all we can to prevent deaths at these events. We are urging festival-goers to go to the medical tents immediately if they’ve taken a party drug and feel unwell. Don’t delay it, seek help for yourself and your mates early, it could be the difference between life and death.”

These extra safety measures were put in place at the Electric Gardens and Hardcore Til I Die festivals, and will also be in place at Rolling Loud Australia, to be held at Sydney Olympic Park today.

“MDMA can kill,” said Dr Chant.  “If you’re at a festival this weekend, look after yourself and your mates. If you or a friend is confused, dizzy, too hot, vomiting or has a fast heart rate, get to the medical tent fast. You won’t get into trouble, health staff are there to help you.”