'No need' for drug testing at Sunshine Coast music festivals
ORGANISERS of the Sunshine Coast's biggest music festivals say they have no need for on-site drug testing because none of their events have a drug culture.
The claims came in the wake of Sylvia Choi's death at Stereosonic music festival last weekend and suggestions Australian music festivals adopt the overseas practice of providing drug testing for patrons.
Police have blamed Ms Choi's death on a drug overdose following revelations the 25-year-old chemist had knowingly mixed MDMA into her water bottle.
Her death sparked calls for the introduction of amnesty-zoned on-site drug testing labs which would give punters an analysis of their recreational drugs.
Professionals would be able to use that information to warn them if their drugs contained life-threatening substances used to cut down illicit drugs.
But Big Pineapple Music Festival organiser, Mark Pico, said he would only support on-site testing if police or liquor licensing recommended it.
"Of course, if the police came to us and said that, then you have to listen. They're at the front line and they deal with it every day," he said.
"We'll be on the front foot talking to all the powers, as we do every year, it's not something you neglect."
Mr Pico said drug testing wasn't as necessary at the Big Pineapple because of differing drug cultures.
"That style of festival (Stereosonic) is tailor-made to attract that kind of thing, it's full-on dance music," he said.
"We've never had any of those kinds of problems.
"It's (Big Pineapple) not really aimed at the younger demographic, probably 35 is at its strongest point."
A 28-year-old health and fitness educator who wished to remain anonymous and has attended the Big Pineapple Music Festival said he supported onsite testing.
"As a (recreational) drug user I am absolutely in support of that testing," he said.
"I think it's only going to lessen chances of bad things occurring from drug taking, and I would definitely use it, 100%.
"If I were to take drugs, I want to know what's in them, just like I want to know what's in my lettuce."
Caloundra Music Festival organiser Richie Eyles said he firmly opposed the idea of on-site testing.
"I can't see it being practical. Testing people's drugs is like saying 'hey it's okay to take drugs'," he said.
Woodford Music Festival organiser Bill Hauritz couldn't give a definitive answer but insisted his event had an anti-drug culture.
"It's not a cultural problem at Woodford, but should it become a problem we'd look at every means possible," he said.