24-year-old Man Dies After Consuming "Multiple Substances" At NSW Festival

2 December 2019 | 8:49 am | Staff Writer

Police and festival organisers have issued statements.

Police have confirmed a 24-year-old male has died after consuming "multiple substances" at the Strawberry Fields festival in New South Wales this past weekend. 

At around 12.45am on Sunday morning the man was treated in the medical tent at the Tocumwal event where medical staff were told he had consumed substances including "GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), MDMA and cocaine". 

Shortly after, the man suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 2.02am. 

Strawberry Fields organisers issued a statement on Sunday morning which read, "We are completely devastated by this news. Murray River Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s death".

Organisers also urged punters to be more responsible about their choices, adding, "We are begging people to stop and think about the ramifications of their choices on their family and friends and to stay safe".

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A report into the man's death is currently being prepared for the coroner.

Meanwhile at Sydney's Festival X event, police made 137 drug detections, with four charged with drug supply. 

Appearing on The Today Show this morning, Noffs Foundation's Kieran Palmer again called on the NSW Government to consider pill testing. 

"Here we are once again taking time out to talk about this issue when at this very moment, there is a mother and a father who are busy making funeral preparations for their 24-year-old son," Palmer said.

"There is so much evidence from both in Australia and overseas to suggest at least trialing something like pill testing... we at least need to listen. We need to listen to the majority of Australian families who are now backing this, we need to listen to the doctors, the chemists, the Australian Medical Association, experts in the field.

"The coroner herself who's come out and made recommendations that we need to look at this, that the evidence is compelling."

As reported by 9News, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian again rejected calls for pill testing today, saying it is not "the way to go".

"When there are thousands of people at a festival and a medical person sits down with a young person and says, 'Do not take this drug', at the end of the day we can have that message 365 days of the year for young people," Berejiklian said.

"What might be OK for one person in taking a tablet could be lethal for another person. So let's not pretend that pill testing would have saved these lives."