The organiser of the Mushroom Valley music festival says this was the first major incident in six years, with nearly all the 1500 attendees on their best behaviour.
The organiser of the Mushroom Valley music festival says this was the first major incident in six years, with nearly all the 1500 attendees on their best behaviour.

Woman 'jumps into fire' at music festival

UPDATE, 9.20am:

The organisers of Mushroom Valley have warned festival-goers of the "importance of self-care, looking after your mates, the risks involved in drug use and the importance of road safety" after a 21-year-old French tourist reportedly jumped into a fire three times while under the influence of drugs at the weekend.

Organisers issued a statement this morning, saying Sunday night's closing ceremony was "dedicated to the young lady" with organisers informing attendees what had happened on Saturday night.

"The organisers of Mushroom Valley and the entire festival community wish to express their sympathies for the young lady injured on Saturday night after leaving the festival," the statement read.

"The safety of festival patrons is always our highest priority and all efforts are made to create a safe gathering space, and so it is a disappointment for us to have an incident like this occur.

"The coordinated response to this incident from the festival's paramedics, local ambulance and the RACQ rescue helicopter was highly professional with a helicopter arriving within an hour and 20 minutes of the organisers becoming aware of the young lady's injuries and we would like to thank everyone involved in the response.

"The festival was otherwise a total success with approximately 1500 people enjoying 3 days of music, art and nature in a happy and safe environment and no other major incidents."

INITIAL:

A FRENCH tourist who attended Mushroom Valley Festival has been flown to Brisbane after suffering horrific burns to almost half of her body after cutting herself on barbed wire and reportedly jumping into a fire three times.

The 21-year-old, who had reportedly taken hallucinogenic drugs, wandered away from the festival to a nearby camp-site. It is understood she jumped into the fire three times before being returned to the festival by campers, where she received medical attention.

RACQ CQ Rescue arrived at the scene about 2.30am Sunday and landed in a clearing at the base of the hill, a couple of hundred metres from the ongoing festival.

An RACQ CQ Rescue air crewman said flashing lights and the music were clearly visible from the air.

The injured woman was conscious as her blistering burns were wrapped and treated by paramedics and she was transferred by helicopter in a serious condition to the Mackay Base Hospital, arriving at 3.45am.

Mushroom Valley Festival organiser Ben Irving was made aware of the incident about 11pm, after the men who had been camping nearby brought the young woman back to the front gate. Mr Irving said his festivals in the past have been incident free, saying there are more incidents in town on a Friday night.

About 1500 people turned out for the three-day festival. Mr Irving said the safety of festival goers was paramount and last night's incident was out of their control.

"We were presented with a situation and we dealt with it in the most professional manner that we could," he said. "Accidents happen all the time and that was something that we couldn't have controlled.

"All we can do is create the safest space we can and have all the services that we can to keep people safe. It's still hard to control everybody and an incident like that, especially if they've left the festival."

Mr Irving said the festival had a strict no drug policy.

"We try and educate people as much about it as we can, but we don't encourage it (drugs) all all. We know it happens at most music festivals, but we have a strict no drug policy. If we see it happening we stop it."

A festival goer told the Mercury that bags were not checked for drugs when entering the gates, "only that we had booze in cans only not glasses".

"For the first time I know of cops have been driving around at the festival making their presence known... but no police walkabout," the Mackay man said, adding about half the crowd looked to be backpackers.

The Mushroom Valley festival website lists a number of rules for the family-oriented festival including "no drugs" and in particular "no ice".

"We understand that everyone partys differently however smoking ice lowers your vibration and we do not want it at our festivals," the site reads.

"We will also be offering a new service this year where for a small fee you will be able to be tested for alcohol or dugs before you leave the festival."

It has not been confirmed exactly what drugs the 21-year-old woman had in her system at the time she was burned.

Mackay Police Senior Sergeant Tony McDowall said police were looking into the incident to determine exactly what happened.

Full Media Release from Mushroom Valley Festival in response to young lady injured.

"The organisers of Mushroom Valley and the entire festival community wish to express their sympathies for the young lady injured on Saturday night after leaving the festival.  The safety of festival patrons is always our highest priority and all efforts are made to create a safe gathering space, and so it is a disappointment for us to have an incident like this occur.

"The coordinated response to this incident from the festival's paramedics, local ambulance and the RACQ rescue helicopter was highly professional with a helicopter arriving within an hourminutes of the organisers becoming aware of the young lady's injuries and we would like to thank everyone involved in the response.

"On Sunday night, the closing ceremony was dedicated to the young lady, with festival organisers taking the time to inform attendees of what had occurred, and remind them of the importance of self-care, looking after your mates, the risks involved in drug use, and the importance of road safety.

"The festival was otherwise a total success with approximately 1500 people enjoying 3 days of music, art and nature in a happy and safe environment and no other major incidents.

"Thanks Ben Irving"



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