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Growing drug culture at music festivals is a turn-off

FESTIVAL FAIL: Perinna Mclachlan, Rockhampton’s Jenna Johnstone, Madeleine White and Tammy Mclachlan at the Falls Festival in Byron Bay, which they say was ruined by the growing drug culture.
FESTIVAL FAIL: Perinna Mclachlan, Rockhampton’s Jenna Johnstone, Madeleine White and Tammy Mclachlan at the Falls Festival in Byron Bay, which they say was ruined by the growing drug culture. Contributed

WITH a limp stranger in her arms, Jenna Johnstone approached the medic tent.

It wasn't exactly what the Rockhampton girl had in mind when she booked her ticket to the popular Falls Festival in Byron Bay, which runs over New Year's Eve.

"We saw a girl completely limp, passed out in the middle of the mosh pit," Jenna said.

"We took her to the medics and she started vomiting. Straight away they knew ice was involved."

That same day, the body of 26-year-old Brisbane man Nathaniel Guymer was discovered at the event's campsite by friends.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and believe drugs may have been involved.

"We heard of the boy who died... it was scary," Jenna said.

Sadly, these are just two examples of the growing drug culture at music events.

"At festivals drugs are so easily attainable," Jenna said.

"People were just lurking around asking where they could source some from.

"New Year's Eve was the worst; the medic tent was full every time we walked past."

Jenna said on the first day of the festival as they arrived on a bus, three police dog squad vans went past.

"The boys in front of us took a handful of pills at once in a panic," she said.

In the past there have been calls to ban sniffer dogs at festivals, to reduce the number of overdoses and stop patrons turning to harder substances. Jenna said she understood the need for police dogs and car searches, but didn't think they made much difference.

"People aren't silly," she said.

"If they are going to extreme lengths to purchase illegal substances then they will do the same to hide them or not get caught."

While Jenna and her friends had a good time, she said she wouldn't go again.

Topics:  byron bay, death, editors picks, falls festival, new year's eve




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