An Australian politician has put forward a proposal to relocate the Defqon 1 festival to Canberra from its current Sydney base.
The move comes in the wake of this year’s event which left two people dead, three more in critical condition, and many others seeking medical attention.
With this year’s deaths the latest in a line of drug-related issues at the festival going back over a number of years, The NSW Government and Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been trying to shut down the hardstyle festival.
Shane Rattenbury, a member of political party the ACT Greens, has suggested that organisers and local authorities could work together to “minimize drug harm for festival patrons” through drug testing if the festival relocated.
“As you are undoubtedly aware, the ACT hosted Australia’s first pill testing trial at the Groovin the Moo festival in April,” he says. “This marked a significant step forward in drug law reform efforts to minimize harm for recreational drug use.”
He continues: “We hope that you are encouraged by the success of Canberra’s initial trial, and we look forward to working with you in bringing Defcon.1 to the ACT.”
The promoters of the festival, Q-Dance, have not yet responded to the letter.
Over the summer, DJ Mag spoke to Fiona Measham, founder of harm reduction organisation The Loop, about the drug testing they do at some UK festivals.