Seven people have reportedly been taken to Westmead Hospital on suspected drug-related illnesses following the Rolling Loud Festival at Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday night.
The hip-hop festival, featuring headliners like Tyga, Future and YG, is believed to have attracted a crowd of over 20,000 revellers to the event.
The most recent hospitalisations bring this long weekend’s festival hospitalisation headcount up to an estimated 22 cases.
The news comes the day after at least seven people were reportedly hospitalised at Sydney’s Hardcore Til I Die festival (two of which were in critical conditions), and six were taken to hospital on suspected drug-related matters at the Electric Garden‘s festival in Centennial Park. It’s believed another woman is also in a critical condition following a suspected drug overdose at Lexton‘s Rainbow Serpent music festival in Victoria.
Over the weekend Australian Federal Police have cracked down on drug availability at festivals, charging eight people with drug supply-related offences, and issuing a further 47 drug criminal infringement notices.
Of the arrests, a 17-year-old Castle Hill male was charged for arriving at Hardcore Til I Die with 579 capsules and $2075 in cash on his person.
The news comes amidst growing support for pill testing as an added health precaution to prevent drug-related deaths at festivals.
Ahead of the Australia Day long weekend, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant from NSW Health issued a statement warning festival-goers to exercise extra caution and to look out for the warning signs of a suspect overdose.
“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.”