An eerily familiar story cropped up this morning as a 19-year-old man is dead, another person is in critical condition, and 4 more people have been taken to hospital after apparently consuming illicit drugs at the Sydney dance festival “A State of Trance”. The festival, which marketed itself as a “celebration weekend” and is spearheaded by Dutch music producer Armin van Buuren, who hosts a weekly radio show in Europe of the same title.
The teenager collapsed at the festival in Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush on Saturday before being taken to hospital in a critical condition, where he later died. A 20-year-old Arncliffe man at the event was taken to Westmead Hospital and currently remains in a critical but stable condition on life support. 4 other men were also taken to hospital, NSW Police said in a statement.
Police said that at the event, a 22-year-old man approached medical staff and allegedly informed them he had ingested a large amount of pills.
South Western Metropolitan Regional Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mennilli, said police conducted a high visibility operation at the event, which was attended by around 16,000 people:
Despite efforts by police and the event organisers to ensure people could attend this music event and enjoy themselves without their lives being put in danger, one man has died and another remains in Westmead Hospital in a critical condition. New South Wales Police will continue to use drug dogs and search people at events if we believe they are carrying illegal drugs. If you carry and supply illegal drugs you will be arrested.
On another note, 3 people at the festival were arrested for drug supply charges and 40 others were issued criminal infringement notices for drug possession and other offences. A 21-year-old Victorian man is expected to appear in Parramatta Bail Court today after police allegedly caught him with 15 MDMA tablets.
Police said they also arrested a 20-year-old Auburn man after he allegedly tried to run from police. He was detained and searched and allegedly was in possession of nearly 100 tablets, believed to be MDMA, and cash. He was charged with several offences including supply more than an indictable quantity of drugs and deal with proceeds of crime. He was granted bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on 24 February 2015.
A 20-year-old Greenacre man was also charged with supplying more than an indictable quantity of drugs and is expected to appear in Fairfield local Court on 16th March 2015.
A total of 23 patrons were treated by medical staff.