Nina van Zelst
By Nina van Zelst

In Australia, the discussion about drug use at festivals has exploded again after a person died at Knockout – Games of Destiny. The Prime Minister isn’t caving and does not want to discuss any possibilities for pill testing. 

After a 19-years old guy died after visiting Knockout in Sydney, everyone seems to be talking about the subject again. Furthermore, political figures seem to blame the festival organisations about the use of harddrugs. In the Facebook group Hardstyle Music Appreciation Society, the organizer of Knockout responded to all this chaos.

“As you know HSU goes above and beyond to make our patrons safe. We have 10k safety wrist bands, Dr on site, continuous messaging live at the event on the large LED screens, 50+ medical staff, HSU pays the police to be there to help, pre-event video and picture messaging, 40+ dancewize staff roaming. Our policy is zero tolerance on drugs. We are fighting hard for our scene at the moment with legal processes underway. HTID is happening so don’t stress for those that love the music. Your voice is important on all these unfair and agenda driven articles, but I wouldn’t speak to them direct. Personally I’m finding this rather difficult, HSU has run 54 events (just over 125k attendance total) and had one death related to drugs that didn’t even happen at the festival. It’s tragic and my condolences go out to the family.

Government isn’t caving and blames the festival organisations

The Prime Minister of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, already talked a lot about her view on pill testing in the news. Earlier she decided to pull the plug on Defqon.1 Australia, but after receiving a lot of criticism she backed out of this decision. Even though festival organisations have been asking for the implementation of pill testing for a long time, the government isn’t caving. “Unfortunately we know the pill testing doesn’t work, since it will give a green light to people to take drugs which possibly could kill them”, is one of her many statements about the subject.

Footage via Facebook-page Harder Styles United

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