Man dies at Strawberry Fields music festival of suspected drug overdose

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Police are investigating the circumstances around his death and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

The festival, which began on Friday, will end on Sunday afternoon.

Four people have also been arrested for supplying drugs at a separate event, Festival X, in Sydney’s west on Saturday.

Another 13 people were fined for possessing prohibited drugs and 137 drug detections were recorded at the festival.

More than 44,000 people attended Festival X in Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.

The death at the Strawberry Fields festival comes weeks after recommendations by the Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame that pill testing be introduced at music festivals were rejected by Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

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Ms Grahame also urged the government to consider decriminalising the personal use of illicit drugs, in a report that followed a three-week coronial inquest into the festival deaths of six young people between December 2017 and January this year.

The six individuals, Alex Ross-King, 19, Joshua Tam, 22, Nathan Tran, 18, Callum Brosnan, 19, Joseph Pham, 23, and Diana Nguyen, 21, all died after consuming MDMA at music festivals.

The report also recommended staging a drug summit to develop evidence-based drug policy, scrapping the use of sniffer dogs and overhauling strip searches.

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“I would support a limited, controlled, medically supervised trial,” Ms McKay said last month.

However, Ms McKay ruled out supporting the other recommendations related to decriminalising the personal use of illicit drugs and scrapping the use of sniffer dogs.

Ms Grahame said: “Drug checking is not a magical solution to these tragic deaths.

“Of course its introduction will not guarantee further deaths will not occur. Drug checking is simply an evidence-based harm reduction strategy that should be trialled as soon as possible.”

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