Patron Found Dead At Tasmania's Panama Festival

12 March 2023 | 3:13 pm | Stephen Green

A man in his 40s was found dead in a toilet at the popular boutique festival yesterday.

Panama Festival 2019

Panama Festival 2019

A man has died at the popular Panama Music Festival in Tasmania's north this weekend. According to reports from the ABC, the man aged in his 40s was found dead in the toilets, with emergency services and forensic officers called to the property at around 5:30pm on Saturday afternoon. 

The cause of death has not been announced, however police have labelled it a "sudden death" with "no suspicious circumstances". 

Festival staff addressed the crowd soon after the incident, urging them not to take recreational drugs. 

"We don't know whether drugs were involved but we want to put your safety first, so this announcement is just to say don't take any recreational drugs. It's not safe to do so. If you have, find a sober friend and check in with each other. Be safe out there."

Police said a report would be prepared for the Coroner.

“Our thoughts are with the man’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

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The boutique event held in Tasmania's Lone Star Valley, north of Launceston hosts around 1,500 patrons every year over three days, with this year's event a triumphant return after COVID interruptions cancelled it's previous year's event. Patrons camp under the stars in a weekend of music discovery and community. The event sold out quickly, as it does most years, with the line up headlined by Sampa The Great and Confidence Man as well as internationals Alice Phoebe Lou and Crumb. The event also hosted Tasman Keith, Maple Glider, Jack Ladder and more. 

The event was founded in 2014 by seasoned event director Dan Rooke and Holy Holy member Tim Carroll and has grown over the decade to become one of the most respected events on the music calendar. It's small patron numbers mean that the event has sold out quickly most years and is the place to be for people 'in the know' to see critically acclaimed acts and to find their new favourite bands.