New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is putting her best foot forward to put a stop to Defqon.1 Festival Australia, all to stop the deaths associated with it. One of the loudest voices coming to the show’s defense is 67-year-old Mita Pauljevic, whose son Nigel passed away at the same show in 2015z
The victim’s father voiced that his concern was not the festival itself. “Don’t stop the festival. This is normal for kids to get together,” he said in a response to this vow. “Get rid of the dealers. When these guys commit several murders, it’s mass murder. They should get life.”
The Premier responded to these comments with a heightened resolve: “No parent should have to endure the heartbreak of losing a child to drugs. That is why I want to ensure dance music festivals in NSW are safe and fun for young people.
“Unfortunately, with four deaths in five years the Defqon.1 event does not have a good track record and we are keeping all of our options open.”
There is a growing dialogue about festival safety in relation to drug use in New South Wales right now, with a NSW summit on drug use taking place next yea. Paul Dillon of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia voices his concerns about the matter:
“Do we really want to go back to the days of the early ’90s with underground events held at warehouses with police raiding them and people doing more dangerous things. Obviously what we are doing currently is not working. We need to look at other options and pill testing should be in the mix, but we should be careful of thinking it will be a silver bullet because it won’t be.”
Do you see parallels between the conversations about drug use in the U.S. and Australia? Tweet us @GlobalDanceElec.