Following the tragic news of 2 drug-related deaths at Australian festival Defqon.1, there's been a mixed bag of reactions as to what many think needs to be done in order to prevent such a horrible thing happening again.
Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of New South Wales believes Defqon.1 festival should no longer continue.
I never want to see this event held in Sydney or New South Wales ever again.
Unfortunately though, cancelling one festival doesn't actually combat the issue.
Whether we like it or not, people take drugs at festivals. No matter how illegal it is, people still believe in their right to partake in recreational drugs. Defqon.1 wasn't the reason for the tragic deaths over the weekend, the drugs itself were.
If we can find a way to help educate people in how to use drugs safely and prevent the distribution of dangerous drugs, we may actually be able to avoid losing young people like this.
In the UK, a popular festival practice is drug-testing tents, where any festival goer can go test the drugs in their posession, making sure they're safe enough to use - which in turn, is completely confidential.
We got in contact with one of you guys who attended Defqon.1 to see what their perspective on what went down was.
He explained that perhaps the "fearmongering" tactics used by Australian officials, including several sets of security at festival gates, as well as rows of drug dogs, could be a factor that contributes to punters overdosing/taking drugs quickly before they enter a festival.
As you can see, the consequences of having a much bigger police presence... isn't always better.
From his perspective it seemed as though many punters were still wanting to consume drugs, the fear of being caught caused them to take them more drugs quicker and more dangerously prior to entering.
He believes that the drug testing tents, which are proven to work overseas, are something that should definitely be implemented for our own festivals in NZ too.
"(Pill testing) could prove to do the immense amount of damage control and damage prevention (needed) because no matter what, people are going to do drugs and that's just the truth."
This is something we definitely agree with and agree that an initiative like this could have prevented the incident at Defqon.1 over the weekend.
What do ya'll think?