A second person has died at Australia’s Stereosonic festival prompting calls for a change in how authorities deal with illicit substances.
The death of a 19-year-old man, identified as Stefan Woodward, comes just a week after a 25-year-old woman, Sylvia Choi, overdosed at the Sydney festival. Both fatalities have been blamed on ecstacy, or MDMA.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon has backed calls for an coronial inquest into Woodward’s death. "We need to ask questions of what the police were doing," Adelaide-based Xenophon said. "Thirty-five pills were confiscated when it appears that this concert was awash with pills. Using these pills seems to be a chemical form of Russian roulette. The other issue is what duty of care do the organizers of this event have," he said.
Campaigns for drug-testing services at Australian festivals have gained an influx of supporters following the deaths.
A petition started by Adriana Buccianti, the mother of a man who died from a drug overdose in 2012, urging the premiers of Victoria and New South Wales to allow drug-testing has received more than 34,000.
Matt Noffs, CEO of the Noffs Foundation, which works alongside young people with drug and alcohol problems, tweeted, “Another festival death. This is becoming ridiculous. We can start saving lives today. It’s #timetotest.”