A man has died after reportedly consuming a cocktail of illicit drugs at a music festival in NSW’s Riverina region.
The 24-year-old was brought to a medical tent about 12.45am on Sunday at the Strawberry Fields festival at Tocumwal.
Medical staff were told he had consumed multiple substances including GHB, MDMA and cocaine.
He subsequently had a heart attack and despite the efforts of medical staff was pronounced dead at 2am, NSW Police said in a statement.
Festival organisers said they were “devastated” by the man’s death and expressed their condolences to his family and friends.
“We have implemented every single harm minimisation strategy that is legally available to us, run in-depth education campaigns on the dangers of drug use, and worked closely with all stakeholders to ensure we are in the best possible position to prevent and manage an incident like this,” Strawberry Fields said on Facebook.
“However, we cannot control the choices of individual patrons. We are begging people to stop and think about the ramifications of their choices.”
NSW Police Superintendent Jason Weinstein on Sunday said drugs were illegal for a reason.
“They are dangerous items and any drug can kill,” he told reporters.
“Whether it’s one (drug) or a combination they all have dangerous effects and can in their own right kill people.”
Supt Weinstein said he understood the 24-year-old had taken a “cocktail” of drugs.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller have both ruled out supporting pill testing at festivals despite most experts saying it would reduce the risk of harm.
Deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame in early November delivered 28 recommendations following an inquest into six MDMA-related deaths at NSW music festivals.
She called for a trial of pill testing and urged police to stop using sniffer dogs which can lead to panic ingestion, double dosing and pre-loading.
Ms Grahame also argued the widescale strip-searching of young people at festivals was “of grave concern”.
Ted Noffs Foundation chief executive Matt Noffs on Sunday again urged the premier to listen to the thousands of doctors, nurses and parents who have backed pill testing alongside the coroner.
“How many more deaths is it going to take for the premier to listen,” the drug safety campaigner told reporters.
“If the premier doesn’t listen to the evidence and the coroner we are going to see more deaths.”
The Labor opposition party on Sunday said it would continue to support an “evidence-based, limited medically supervised trial of pill testing at selected music festivals”.
NSW Police charged 29 people with drug-related offences at the Festival X music festival at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.
Of those, three men and one woman were charged with supplying prohibited drugs.
Supt Weinstein said most of the 45,000 Sydney revellers behaved exceptionally well and the number of drugs found was “substantially” down on previous years.
As part of a trial, 13 people found with prohibited drugs were dealt with by way of infringement notices and fined up to $400. All of the drugs seized were MDMA.
NSW Police conducted 130 searches at Festival X including 31 strip searches.