A 22-year-old Brisbane man died of a drug overdose at the Glenworth Valley music festival, Lost Paradise, on December 29.
Josh Tam was taken to Gosford Hospital from the festival after falling ill after allegedly consuming a mix of illegal substances and alcohol.
He died a short time later.
Brisbane Water Police District was heavily involved with policing and law enforcement during the four day music and culture festival, and said that police had taken any drug related matters at the festival very seriously.
According to Acting Superintendent Rod Peet, Brisbane Water Police had intercepted a number of attempts to smuggle drugs into the festival and said drug users and dealers were becoming increasingly more sophisticated and creative in the way they conceal their contraband.
Acting Superintendent Peet said police located drugs hidden in jars of vegemite, aerosol containers and even stuffed inside a roast chicken.
Tam became the fourth person to die at a NSW music festival in the 2018-19 festival season, prompting renewed calls for the NSW Government to introduce and legislate pill testing at music festivals.
Lost Paradise Festival Owner, Simon Beckingham, issued a statement regarding the Tam’s death.
“Tragically, a young man did pass away after attending Lost Paradise.
“It was a very distressing incident and a hugely emotional time for our entire team.
“Our sincerest thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends.
“I have so much respect for our medical team, NSW Ambulances, NSW fire and rescue, Red Dawn security and DanceWize, who worked under very stressful conditions to keep our patrons safe.
“I can only hope that we, as an industry and wider community, are able to reflect and learn from this tragic incident and continue to work together to improve harm reduction measures at future festivals and events,” he said.
Following the spate of drug related deaths at events across the state, the NSW Government has introduced new laws around drug possession and supply and according to the Premier, if convicted, the drug dealer that sold Tam lethal substance could face up to 20 years in jail.
Media statement, Dec 30
Acting Superintendent Rod Peet, Brisbane Water Police District
Media statement, Dec 30
Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier
Media statement, Jan 7
Simon Beckingham, Lost Paradise Music Festival